Don’t try to outsmart each other, Chandre Gowda tells Chief Minister, Speaker

He underlines role of the two constitutional functionaries in Assembly

Bharatiya Janata Party MP and former Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister D.B. Chandre Gowda on Monday said the Chief Minister and the Legislative Assembly Speaker should refrain from trying to outsmart each other and respect and protect the two constitutional functionaries.

Delivering his lecture, ‘Karnataka Assembly: then and now’ at the diamond jubilee fete of the first session of Karnataka Assembly organised at the Assembly Hall, here, Mr. Chandre Gowda did not mince words about the “bitter truth”, which he thought was his duty and responsibility to share with the legislators gathered on the occasion. The Speaker, he said, should not be influenced by the Chief Minister in any way so as to affect the dignity and decorum of his office.

Mr. Chandre Gowda, who gave his “impression” about the functioning of the House, said that the dignity and status of the post of Speaker was held in high esteem. But, there were circumstances when those values and dignity had deteriorated. The post of Speaker, who oversees the responsibility of getting the seal of approval to the financial transactions of the House, thereby ensuring peace and prosperity of the people, should not become the butt of public criticism. The Speaker is not subservient to anybody, he said.

Just for a moment, Chief Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda, his predecessor B.S. Yeddyurappa and Speaker K.G. Bopaiah, along with a host of senior leaders of the House were puzzled as to the tone and tenor of his lecture.

Mr. Chandre Gowda continued, saying that the relations between the two posts were very delicate. They should be elastic in performing their duties, but in conformity with the Constitution. In the name of adjustment, there should be no attempt to deride conscience of the other and rules of procedure/legislations.

The Speaker, he said, had the freedom and autonomy guaranteed by virtue of his position and was not obliged to anybody.

The Speaker had inherent powers and privileges and should realise that he had entered the realm of legislature and hence should be beyond the political arena.

Quoting the former President Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, who called himself the Parliament Watchman, Mr. Gowda said that the Speaker should speak less and learn that each MLA/MP represents lakhs of people in his constituency and give due respect to him. He should try to accommodate members, who were shy of expressing their views in the House, Mr. Gowda quoted him as saying.

He was delivering a lecture at diamond jubilee fete of the first session of Karnataka Assembly

‘The Speaker is not subservient to anybody’

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