A meeting of the standing committee of presiding officers of legislative bodies on Thursday unanimously adopted a resolution condemning the "despicable acts of wanton vandalism" in the West Bengal assembly on November 30, 2006. It also said that "such acts of violence and disorderly conduct in legislatures call for exemplary punitive action."
The resolution was adopted after the meeting, presided by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, discussed the difficulties faced by presiding officers in running the state legislatures because of increasing incidents of disorderly behaviour by members.
The resolution may raise the hackles of Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Bannerjee. Though it does not name the Trinamool, the resolution said that the "despicable acts of wanton vandalism" were perpetrated by some members inside the Chambers and by some members and outsiders in the lobby of the state Assembly.
What could add to the Trinamool's discomfiture is that presiding officers from BJP-ruled states like Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan were also present at the meeting that adopted the resolution. The Trinamool is part of the NDA grouping led by the BJP.
The MP speaker, in fact, highlighted the difficulties he faced in running the House with even ministers challenging his authority. "I am like a disciplined daughter-in-law who cannot speak out against a mother-in-law who is harassing her," he said. He said that the state health minister contradicted him in the House when he referred to allegations of corruption in private medical colleges and later even questioned his behaviour.
Besides the presiding officers from Karnataka, Arunachal Pradesh and Left ruled West Bengal and Kerala, the meeting was also attended by Rahman Khan, deputy chairman Rajya Sabha and CS Atwal, deputy speaker of the Lok Sabha.
The next meeting of presiding officers will take place in Kerala.