Speaker withdraws reference against 32 MPs

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New Delhi, May 5 (UNI) Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today announced in the Lok Sabha the withdrawal of reference against 32 opposition MPs, mostly from the BJP, to the Privileges Committee.

He made the announcement after Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee and Leader of the Opposition L K Advani made separate requests to the Speaker to reconsider his decision even as Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav objected to telecast of the Speaker's decision by a television news channel. Mr Yadav took exception to the broadcast even before it was announced in the House. Mr Chatterjee said he would look into the matter.

No sooner than the Speaker announced withdrawal of the reference matter, Mr Devendra Prasad Yadav of RJD wanted the House to be apprised of what transpired in the chamber of the Speaker. When BJP members took strong exception to certain remarks of Mr Yadav, leading to din in the House, Mr Chatterjee repeatedly urged the RJD member not to press the issue. Even as slanging match between Mr Yadav and some BJP members continued, Mr Chatterjee said he was extremely thankful to the House for cooperating with him in the smooth running of the Lok Sabha.

Ironically, the House witnessed an unruly scene even as the Speaker made the announcement withdrawing reference against 32 members for creating disorder in the Lok Sabha on April 24 when these members had stormed into the well of the House, protesting rise in prices of essential commodities.

UNI SAA/KAS PK GC1432

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