Presiding over Lok Sabha proceedings for the first time, Congress member Jagdambika Pal on Tuesday made a pitch for consideration of the Food Security Bill, asking the House not to disturb during his maiden appearance in the Chair.

Mr. Pal, who was recently brought on the panel of chairpersons after Girija Vyas became a minister, told agitating opposition members to allow the debate on the “crucial” Food Security Bill as scheduled.

“This House has a long tradition of not disturbing a new member making his maiden speech. Since this is my first day as you all have reposed faith in me, I would appeal to you to cooperate and help in running the House,” Mr. Pal said, urging TDP members to return to their seats.

As the protesting members remained undeterred, Mr. Pal said the House had important business, including “crucial legislations like the Food Security Bill.”

Mr. Pal also referred to the food bill as “our bill” which will benefit common people. “The people are watching,” he said.

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and several ministers present in the House were seen smiling as Mr. Pal stood and made these remarks.