Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday complimented former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee for several accomplishments, including the Lok Sabha TV channel, during his tenure.
"There was a marked increase in inter-parliamentary contacts, the parliamentary committee system was strengthened, a Lok Sabha channel was started and greater transparency was introduced by enhancing the citizen's right to information," he said, delivering the keynote address at a function here to mark the release of Chatterjee's autobiography "Keeping the Faith".
Noting that India has withstood serious challenges on the economic and security fronts and has emerged stronger "on the support of her vigorous and functioning democracy", Manmohan Singh said: "One of the issues that faces the Indian polity is how to make the functioning of parliament more effective and meaningful."
Chatterjee, speaker of the 14th Lok Sabha (2004-2009), had refused to step down from the post after the Left withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance government in July 2008 over the Indo-US Nuclear Treaty. This was despite the direction of his Communist Party of India-Marxist, whose parliamentary party he headed earlier. He was then expelled from the party.