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BJP questions Somnath's impartiality

delhi Updated: Jul 16, 2008 20:57 IST

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Taking a dig at Speaker Somnath Chatterjee for his reported reservation about the CPI(M)'s decision to vote with a "communal" BJP in the July 22 confidence motion, the BJP on Wednesday questioned his impartiality.

"It has been noted that the Speaker has expressed his reservation on voting along with BJP in the trust motion. If he has expressed this, then it certainly indicates that he has a political bias against a national party," BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy told reporters New Delhi.

Rudy said Chatterjee has reiterated several times that the post of speaker is non-partisan. "How can he express his political opinion with a bias while holding the post of speaker which he states is non-partisan?" he asked.

The CPI(M) had reportedly asked Chatterjee to step down from his post and support the party in the forthcoming trust vote. However, sources close to Chatterjee said he was reluctant to resign and had cited voting along with the BJP as the reason.

The BJP also said the Speaker's stand was questionable also under the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution.

"The honourable speaker has been elected as MP under the symbol of CPI(M). Under the Tenth Schedule, he is a political representative of CPI(M) discharging his legislative functions as well. Would not disagreeing with the directions of his party amount to an act against the party? It could also be treated as misconduct," Rudy said.

The BJP MP said these two positions are contradictory. "The speaker is a prisoner of political contradictions of the Left themselves," he said.