Neena Vyas

NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has written to NDA chairman Atal Bihari Vajpayee asking him to reconsider the decision to boycott House proceedings on Tuesday.

Soon after the NDA took the decision, Mr. Chatterjee wrote to Mr. Vajpayee saying he was sorry that his friends in the NDA had taken such a decision.

He said: "May I earnestly request you for reconsideration of the decision and join the proceedings of the House as before?" He said the participation of the Opposition was essential for parliamentary democracy.

The NDA took the boycott decision to protest against the forcible transaction of government business through din and noise in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

Although Mr. Vajpayee is chairman of the NDA he did not attend the meeting held at the residence of L.K. Advani, where it was decided that NDA leaders would stay away from Lok Sabha on Tuesday. It was decided the NDA would not participate in the daily meeting of leaders in the Speaker's chamber, they would sit in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament House complex with gags on their mouths to indicate that they were not being allowed their say, and they would not sign registers to claim their allowances for attending Parliament.