A hundred years ago March 24, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (March 24, 1921): Privilege

We understand that Lord Willingdon has been assiduous in his attendance for sometime and in watching the way in which Mr. Kesava Pillai, the Deputy President, voted in the Council. Mr. Pillai, it would appear, voted sometimes against Government and sometimes remained neutral. The Governor seems to have noticed this and asked Mr. Pillai, whether he, as Deputy President, could vote against the Government. Mr. Pillai’s reply was the only proper and commendable one. It is reported to have been that he, as a people’s representative, must be left free to vote as he pleased and that, to retain his free vote, he was if necessary prepared to resign the post of Deputy President. There is a general rumour in the Council lobby that the situation has so developed that Mr. Pillai might be forced to resign. The immediate cause that gave rise to the issue was, presumably, Mr. Pillai’s giving notice of a motion to reduce a certain item of expenditure and remaining neutral instead of voting for Government in respect of the Russelkonda Saw mills scheme. Whatever that be, Lord Willingdon’s action in calling upon the Deputy-President, who as a non-official bound to support the interests of his constituency is entitled to freedom of voting, is absolutely unconstitutional and utterly indefensible.

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