‘Normal’ practice to include speaker in MPs’ list: CPI-M

July 16th, 2008 - 7:09 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) said Wednesday it was following “normal parliamentary practice” by putting Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee’s name in the list of MPs submitted to President Pratibha Patil after it withdrew support to the UPA government. Pointing out that there had been a “disinformation” campaign over the inclusion of Chatterjee’s name in the list, CPI-M politburo member Sitaram Yechury said in a statement: “What I had said is that the speaker’s name should be included in the CPI-M list as he was elected as a CPI-M candidate but with an asterisk denoting that currently he is the Lok Sabha Speaker, as is the normal parliamentary practice.”

The CPI-M leadership reportedly faces a dilemma with Chatterjee - who had become the speaker as part of the Left’s understanding with the United Progressive Alliance when it extended its outside support in 2004 - refusing to resign after the Communists withdrew support last week.

“We are confident that the speaker will take an appropriate decision at the appropriate time,” Yechury told reporters.

The issue has gained prominence with only five days to go before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh faces a trust vote in parliament. The Left’s pullout has reduced the UPA government to a minority and each vote will be crucial for its survival.

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