Anguished by repeated protests and a Trinamool Congress member telling her that she was “not the Speaker of Narendra Modi”, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday pulled up some members for their conduct, telling them bluntly that if they failed to maintain the dignity of the Chair, it is a “more serious matter.”
Observing that such actions “hurt” the sentiments of the House, a visibly hurt Speaker said the question was one of dignity and decorum of the House and what has happened was “extremely unfortunate”.
Ms. Mahajan’s strong observations came soon after fresh protests by Trinamool Congress members, who rushed into the Well, and its leader Kalyan Banerjee telling Ms. Mahajan “you are not Speaker of BJP, you are not the Speaker of Narendra Modi.”
“The undignified conduct of some members since Tuesday is extremely unfortunate. We all have been hurt by disruptions in the House during the last few days,” she said, deprecating the use of “unbecoming” language, raising slogans and showing placards in the House.
“It is a more serious matter if someone does not want to maintain the dignity of the Chair,” she said, adding, “It is not necessary that if someone shows disrespect to the dignity of the House, others should resort to disruptions. This is not in tune with the dignity of Parliament.”
She appealed to leaders of all political parties to ensure that their members do not resort to undignified conduct and help in the smooth functioning of the House.
“It is not proper to stage a dharna in the Well of the House or directly or indirectly resort to undignified conduct,” she told the MPs, adding that maintaining dignity and discipline in the House was the duty of all members.
“In fact, the essence of democracy is self-discipline,” she said, adding, “When we spread disorder, then many unwanted things happen. Charges, counter-charges and unbecoming language is used. This hurts us all, the people of the nation and the democratic principles.”
The Speaker’s observations came in the wake of TMC members repeatedly storming the Well in protest against the Railway Budget and the House witnessing some ugly scenes on Tuesday following a few BJP and TMC members coming to the verge of a clash.
Earlier, Mr. Banerjee made some objectionable remarks targeting the Speaker, saying “you are not Speaker of BJP, you are not Speaker of Narendra Modi”, as the entire ruling coalition stood up and strongly protested against the comments leading to adjournment of the House.
Mr. Banerjee later apologised in the House, saying, “If I have hurt your sentiments, I am very sorry.”