Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Tuesday appealed to all the opposition parties to attend the Lok Sabha for the effective functioning of parliamentary democracy as the BJP-led NDA absented themselves to protest against the Speaker's decision of not allowing them to raise a privilege motion against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday over the leak of the Pathak Inquiry Authority Report to an electronic channel.
"It is a painful situation that the entire Opposition is absent. I request them on my behalf and on behalf of the members present to return to the House immediately. I am sure they will consider my request. I may have committed a mistake, but it can be sorted out among friends," he said.
Members of the ruling parties condemned the behaviour of the Opposition parties and said the BJP-led NDA was showing disrespect to the Speaker by boycotting the Chair. They also appealed to them to return to the House.
Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee shared the sentiments of members of the ruling allies and described the Opposition's behaviour as shameful and unfortunate.
He also appealed to the Opposition parties to come back as soon as possible and make their contribution to debates.
"Parliament is nothing but debate. Please make your contribution," he said.
On behalf of the Congress, Mukherjee expressed total trust in the Speaker and the way he had conducted the business of the House.