Somnath Chatterjee enlivens debate

July 22nd, 2008 - 12:31 am ICT by IANS  

By Jaideep Sarin
New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Monday betrayed none of the tension he has been under as he presided over a turbulent house with humorous one-liners to pin down wayward MPs. The speaker, who authoritatively sat through most of the daylong debate on the first day, seemed to be in no mood to spare anyone.

“Make notes and give it to your prime minister to reply,” quipped Chatterjee to the ruling Congress benches as they tried to interrupt one speaker.

On another occasion, Chatterjee asked Janata Dal-United MP Prabhu Nath Singh to make his next point. When Singh did not speak for a few seconds as he was sorting out papers, the speaker said, “Have you finished the point?”

This led to laughter from all present MPs.

“I am a small man - only big in size,” Chatterjee said on another occasion.

“I like you a lot and want to listen to you, but please come to the point. Bas ho gaya (It’s enough now),” he told BJP MP Shah Nawaz Hussain.

When a MP referred to Manmohan (Singh), Mulayam (Singh Yadav) and Mayawati a few times, the speaker said, “bahut Ma, Ma (M, M) ho gaya. Stop it now.” (There has been enough of these three ‘M’s).

“Aap ka kya pareshan hain (what is your problem)?” Chatterjee shot at a member in his broken Hindi at one stage.

At the very outset of the special session, the speaker said, “I am happy to see a full house.”

But Chatterjee had some tight moments too when he and Communist Party leader Gurudas Das Gupta indulged in open sarcastic comments against each other.

“You are a senior MP, you should know procedures,” he told Gupta.

At another point, when Chatterjee again told Gupta that he was a senior person, Gupta reported, “I know of that I am senior but you are junior.”

“Yeh natak ki jagah nahi hai. Yeh natak achha nahin hai. Janta dekh rahi hai (This is no place for a drama. This is not a good drama. The people are watching.). What is this? I appeal with humility to you all to behave properly,” Chatterjee said.

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