NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Monday made a strong plea for introducing a “no work, no pay” concept for parliamentarians. Upset over the disruption of proceedings by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), he said: “That is why I say please agree to ‘no work, no pay,’ Rs. 1,000 is being paid to you for this!”
The Speaker made the comments after he refused to entertain the NDA’s notice for suspension of question hour to raise the issue concerning Surface Transport Minister T.R. Baalu.
Mr. Chatterjee said he would not allow the issue to be raised during question hour or afterwards without proper notice as per the rules. He told those picketing the well: “This culture has to go from the Parliament of India that anybody can come to the well, stop the proceedings of the House, get newspaper publicity and go on.”
Though the Speaker had been advocating the ‘no work, no pay’ formulation during his meetings with party leaders and on other fora, this is for the first time that he has articulated it on the floor of the House.
The Speaker referred to the members in the well of the House as “cheerleaders.” A sudden power failure in the Parliament House and comments from the Opposition about the state of affairs during the UPA rule saw him quip: “The government has nothing to do with it. Out of shame, I have done it.”
In a bid to end the slogan-shouting, the Speaker also ordered stoppage of live coverage of the proceedings and pointed it out to the members. As this also had no impact, Mr. Chatterjee asked for resumption of the telecast, saying: “let the people see.”