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Will draw from best practices from other democracies: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla addressing a Press Conference in New Delhi on June 21, 2019.

Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla addressing a Press Conference in New Delhi on June 21, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sandeep Saxena

He assured the opposition that he would not be guided by numerical strength in giving opportunity to the MPs.

 

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that he hoped to engage with parliamentary proceedings of other democracies and draw from their best practices.

He asked members to refrain from practices such as trooping into the Well of the House to register their protests.

Listing his priorities, he said he will work to enhance the House’s dignity and advised its members to abide by the rules.

Presiding over the parliamentary proceedings for the first time on June 21, he repeatedly stopped members from speaking out of turn.

“Why should ‘zindabad-murdabad’ slogans be raised [in] the Well or placard be brought in? Those interested in doing so have the freedom to do so outside,” he said.

He assured the opposition that he would not be guided by numerical strength in giving opportunity to the MPs. The opposition numbers have shrunk further in the 17th Lok Sabha as the BJP-led NDA returned to power with a bigger majority.

“Every member represents his constituency and I want his or her voice to be heard,” he said.

He said rules take precedence over conventions when asked why he allowed the introduction of the triple talak bill instead of the motion of thanks to the President’s address as the first matter.

The business advisory committee, which has members from different parties, took a call on the issue and he abided by it, he added.

An app to educate parliamentarians on parliamentary rules should be developed he said, noting that the Lok Sabha will see 256 members for the first time.

Developing a rich digital library is one of his priorities he said, paying tributes to previous Speakers including Sumitra Mahajan of the 16th Lok Sabha.

Birla, a BJP MP who was the ruling dispensation’s surprise pick for the chair, said that elections in India have always been transparent and the Congress’ defeat in 1977 after the emergency was testimony to this.

His remarks came as several opposition leaders have been expressing doubts over the integrity of electronic voting machines. Birla made no direct reference to the issue.

Birla was unanimously elected to the chair on June 19, 2019.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:36:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/will-draw-from-best-practices-from-other-democracies-lok-sabha-speaker-om-birla/article28100280.ece

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