PM praises Somnath Chatterjee’s ‘inspirational leadership’

August 11th, 2008 - 11:13 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Somnath Chatterjee

New Delhi, Aug 11 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday singled out Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for fulsome praise, saying his “inspirational leadership” had won him the admiration of the entire nation. “The entire country has come to look up to him for balance and fair play in the functioning of our Lok Sabha,” the prime minister said in his opening remarks at the inaugural Prof. Hiren Mukherjee Memorial Lecture by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen here.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist had expelled Chatterjee for refusing to step down as speaker ahead of the July 22 trust vote in parliament, which was won by the Manmohan Singh government.

Chatterjee had steadfastly refused to give in to the CPI-M demand, saying the office of the speaker was above party politics.

“We are also privileged that this lecture is being delivered in the presence of a true inheritor of the legacy of Hiren Mukherjee, our distinguished Speaker, Shri Somnath Chatterjee. This evening, therefore, is a truly remarkable one,” the prime minister maintained.

“He (Chatterjee) is, as I have said, a true inheritor of the legacy of Comrade Hiren Mukherjee,” the prime minister said at the conclusion of his speech.

“I thank Somnath Chatterjee for having honoured us all by inviting Professor Amartya Sen to address us in this historic Central Hall of our Parliament on a theme of great contemporary relevance,” Manmohan Singh added.

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