The ugly scenes in the J&K assembly on Monday shocked veteran parliamentarians and experts, who described it as a ‘blot’ on the country’s parliamentary system.
The live visuals of assembly Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone abusing the Opposition People’s Democratic Party MLA Iftikhar Hussain Ansari, who then tried to hurl a fan at the Speaker, stunned those who were watching it on television.Former Lok Sabha Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, said he was at a loss for words to react on the incident which showed the country’s legislative proceedings touching a new low. "At least I was spared from the agony of watching the shameful sight. I am shocked and really unhappy," he said.
Chatterjee, who was elected to the Lok Sabha 10 times, said the incident was reflective of the “politics of confrontation taking precedence over decorum” of the House. “It is very sad that the assembly Speaker and the opposition MLAs seem to have indulged in all this merely for the sake of publicity. It portrays a serious danger to the future of the parliamentary democracy in the country, he said. Former Lok Sabha Secretary General, PDT Achary said he could not recall any incident in the parliamentary history of the country, where the Speaker hurled abuses at the members inside the House. “I don’t recollect any such incident in my memory.
Speakers have to behave with great restraint. They are upholders of the dignity of the House and even if provoked they should try to defuse tension,”Achary said. Expressing concern over the falling standards in conducting legislative business in assemblies across the country, Achary said this was happening since “the necessary attention was not being paid on how the House should be conducted and it showed lack of seriousness and training on the part of various political parties.” Chatterjee and Achary were not satisfied with the unconditional apology tendered by the Speaker.