Disagreeing with Speaker Somnath Chaterjee’s stand on agitating MPs, former Vice-Chairman of Rajya Sabha Najma Heptullah on Wednesday said “presiding officer’s role in the House is like a referee in a match and of a player”.
“The Speaker is like a referee to ensure that match goes on smoothly,” Heptullah told reporters in New Delhi.
The Speaker had yesterday taken a strong objection to MPs disrupting the Question Hour as members of several political parties stormed the Well of the Lok Sabha raising a spate of issues.
“You do not deserve one paisa of public money,” angry Chatterjee had said, adding that he believed Parliament should be adjourned sine die.
However, defending the MPs, Heptullah said: “Agitation is a part of democracy and an MP is entitled to agitate.”
Recalling her experience in the Rajya Sabha, she said “I had done the job for 17 years as Vice Chairman of the House and I faced worse situations than what happened on Thursday. But I never said such things.”