Signs of thaw in Speaker chill
In the first signs of reconciliation between Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee and CPM leadership, the former has indicated willingness to toe the party line and vote against the UPA government’s trust motion, in case there is a tie. The chair can exercise its right for a casting vote as a tiebreaker.
Sources familiar with the speaker’s consultation with different people told HT that Chatterjee is aware of his primary association with the CPM and has no intention to disown it.
“If it is his one vote that will make or break the CPM’s political standing, then he has no confusion on which side to take,” the source said. “He will act as a non-partisan speaker when the voting takes place. But if required he will vote as a CPM member,” the source said.
The source also refuted claims that the Speaker had written to the CPM leadership expressing inability to vote along with the BJP. “That is mere imagination…Speaker knows better than to write such a partisan letter and in any case he has voted along with the BJP several times before,” the source added.
Speaker has been reportedly upset with his name being added in the list of party MPs submitted along with the letter withdrawing support to the government. CPM wanted him to resign as the Speaker and vote against the government. But Chatterjee made it clear that he would continue till July 22. However, Somnath’s name does not figure in the whip issued by the party.
Chatterjee has told a source that his vote becomes crucial only if there is a tie. “He is conscious of the manifesto on which he has won nine Lok Sabha elections,” the source added.