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Tandon questions Speaker?s integrity

india Updated: Aug 26, 2006 01:39 IST
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NOISY SCENES were witnessed in the Vidhan Sabha for some time on Friday when a visibly disturbed and enraged Leader of the Opposition Lalji Tandon questioned the integrity of Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey. He alleged that senior as well as junior members of the BJP were not being allowed to speak while a few favourite members were allowed to speak whenever they wanted to. He accused the Speaker of a partisan attitude.

All this started when Hukum Singh objected to the tabling of Sahara University Bill without copies being provided to the members and was not allowed when he tried to say something.

Taking strong exception to Tandon’s utterances against the Chair, Pramod Tiwari said that Tandon’s comment was an insult to the Chair and was improper for a seasoned politician like Leader of the opposition.

Tiwari’s interruptions further annoyed Tandon who said, “Yes, I am levelling charges against the Chair”. This led to more chaos when the BJP and the Congress members started levelling charges against each other.

Trying to defuse the situation, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Azam Khan said it seemed that something had deeply hurt Tandon yesterday. He appreciated Tandon’s help and support in the smooth functioning of the House.

Tandon once again said that even he, despite being Leader of the Opposition, was not being allowed to speak. Hukum Singh supported Tandon saying that no debate was allowed on supplementary budget yesterday.

Tandon, however, later expressed regrets for his comments against the Chair but at the same time said that there was no sense in sitting here as Leader of the Opposition when he was not able to discharge his duties.

Speaker Mata Prasad Pandey then clarified his position saying that he always said that it was the right of the Leader of the Opposition to speak whenever he wanted to and there was no time bar on him.

Deeply hurt, Pandey said he was not keen to continue on the post, if he was not able to discharge his duties honestly.

Clarifying his stand, He said that he had instructed his staff to put copies of the proposed Sahara University Bill in the ‘pigeon hole’. He said he would take action if they had not complied with his order.

Azam Khan said all god things to calm down everybody and urged the Speaker to strike down unpleasant comments made by some of the members.

Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, who was present in the House, sent Revenue Minister Ambika Chaudhary to Tandon’s room after the House was adjourned to invite him for tea. The issue was later resolved amicably when Lalji Tandon, chief minister, Pramod Tiwari, Mata Prasad Pandey and Azam Khan had tea together in the Speaker’s chamber and shook hands to become friends again.