New Delhi, July 17 : Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is doing the right thing by not resigning from the post on demand of his party - the CPI(M), said Baliram Bhagat, a former Speaker here today, in an exclusive interview to the ANI.
Otherwise, he pointed out, it would set a wrong precedent for the future, and whenever a confidence motion or no-confidence motion will be tabled, the Speaker will be asked to resign for his vote. .
He said that the post of Lok Sabha Speaker is so sacrosanct that it should not have been dragged into the controversy as it is being done now (by asking Somnath to resign).
"Somnath has conducted Lok Sabha proceedings in a very fair manner over the past four years, and now by taking a stand of not resigning from the post, he is keeping his post above party politics, and evading a move to potiticise it. In my opinion, he should not resign, else it would set a wrong precedent for the future," said Bhagat, who served in the Chair between 1974 and 1977 before the Congress lost power to Janata Party.
Drawing a parallel between Lok Sabha and House of Commons, he said that in the House of Commons, the post of Speaker is considered in such high esteem, that if one holds that post even for once, he or she is not allowed to contest and become an ordinary member of the House.
"Over there, after serving in the Chair, a Speaker can be at the most adjusted in the House of Lords, or he is expected to resign from politics and given all perks and allowances entitled to an incumbent Speaker. We have drawn the post of Speaker from there only, so we must give the same respect and dignity to it," he said.
He said that when a new Speaker is appointed, the leader of the House and the Leader of the Opposition accompanies him up to the Chair. "This practice means that the Speaker is appointed and acceptable to every party in the House, and not to that party alone which he belongs to. He is expected to be impartial and unbiased towards or against any party while transacting business in the House, and Somnath has done the same," said Baliram Bhagat, who served as foreign minister during the Rajiv Gandhi regime. By Pankaj Yadav