Speaker expresses regret at ‘falling standards’ of house

April 28th, 2008 - 8:35 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee Monday expressed regrets at the falling standards of conduct in the lower house and said it was a sad day for the country. At the start of the question hour in the Lok Sabha, members of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) disrupted the proceedings of the house demanding the removal of Union Shipping, Road and Transport Minister T.R. Baalu for alleged misuse of his office to seek favours for King Chemicals, a company owned by his family.

The speaker objected stating that the matter could be brought up only after a notice was sent to him and his approval granted. When the NDA MPs persisted with the protest, the speaker said: “Your are going against all propriety, rule and decency of the house.”

“Let the country see what you are doing. They will see what I am doing also,” Chatterjee said.

Soon it became a free for all with MPs from the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) shouting at the NDA members.

A miffed speaker said: “I don’t know whether you are fit to be here. On what basis are people electing and sending you here? Ask yourself if you are serving the country.”

The first question listed for the day was on drought conditions in the country. Ram Lakhan Singh of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who had a question listed against his name, was also shouting for Baalu’s removal.

“You are not concerned with the drought. You listed a question and then don’t want to ask it,” Chatterjee said.

The speaker further reprimanded the members and said: “This culture has to go from the parliament of India. This is being done to get publicity in press.”

“No work, no pay. You all are getting Rs. 1,000 per day.”

When the MPs continued shouting “Baalu ko barkhaast karo” (sack Baalu), he said: “You all are against cheerleaders in cricket matches. Now you all are cheerleaders.” He was heard telling his officials: “Take down the names of the cheerleaders.”

“It is a very sad day for the country. I have stopped telecast. Tasveer nahi aata hai (your picture will not be seen on TV). Now stop it. Have you read the rule book?”

However, as soon as the cameras were switched on, the members renewed their chorus.

The speaker said: “I don’t want respect. But respect the house, respect the people.”

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