Mild mannered Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not averse to strong action

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New Delhi, Jun 15: Sumitra Mahajan may be described as soft spoken and mild mannered and fondly called 'tai' (elder sister), but the new Lok Sabha Speaker is not averse to taking "strong" action against erring members to maintain decorum in the House.

Elected unanimously last week as the second woman Speaker after Meira Kumar, 71-year-old Mahajan says that she is for striking a natural dialogue with members but would not be found wanting in taking "strong" decisions in the interest of the House.

"Whenever it is necessary to give strong decisions, one has to," the eight-time MP told in an interview.

She was replying to a question about how she would conduct the House because it has been repeatedly proved that even a small group of MPs can hold the house to ransom by protesting in the Well of the House.

Mahajan's attention was drawn to the fact that the previous Lok Sabha got the tag of being the least productive because of record disruptions and indecorous behaviour including the pepper spray incident.

Her emphasis is on "sahaj sulabh sanvad" (natural dialogue) with members and "coordination" among the treasury benches, opposition including the smaller groups to run Parliament smoothly.

She says that the responsibility of the lawmakers and Parliament was needed all the more at a time when democracy in the country is growing from strength to strength as reflected in the voting pattern.

"It is our responsibility to fulfill the rising expectations of people."


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