Somnath defied party to preside over trust vote

July 21st, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee defied directions from his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) when he presided over the two-day trust motion debate that began Monday, party leaders said. According to party sources, the CPI-M’s central committee had met Saturday and Sunday and reiterated its advice to Chatterjee that he quit the post of the speaker before the debate on the trust motion.

After the central committee meeting, CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat had said Sunday that the politburo had been authorised to deal with the issue.

However, Chatterjee, who has been maintaining that the speaker’s office is above party politics, was adamant. He convened an all party meeting before the proceedings in the house Monday.

He was also in his element when the house sat to debate the confidence motion that could signal the end of the four-year-old Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government.

“I don’t have to impress upon the importance of the motion that is going to be debated. The whole nation is watching. In the time available, fullest opportunity will be given to members. It is good to see a full house,” he told the members.

“There may be some ‘toka-toki’, but order should be maintained,” he added.

His wife and daughter were present in the speaker’s gallery.

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