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Speaker chides Shinde, Raghuvansh Prasad, Varkala

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, May 12 (UNI) The UPA government today suffered acute embarrassment in the Lok Sabha as Speaker Somnath Chatterjee pulled up Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for not being present in the House yesterday when his name was called for tabling of papers listed against his name.

''You were not present yesterday. You have to express your regret'' for the lapse, the Speaker told Mr Shinde when the Minister got up to table the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission Regulations, 2005.

When Mr Shinde sought to defend himself stating that he had not been informed that he had to table papers yesterday, the Speaker retorted, pointing out that ''it was your department's problem,'' not of the House.

''I hope it will not be repeated by anybody else. I am sorry.

This is not a personal reflection, but Parliament is supreme,'' Mr Chatterjee said.

A few minutes later, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh also earned the displeasure of the Speaker.

As the Minister tried to explain the statement which the Speaker had asked him to lay on the table, Mr Chatterjee said, ''You may like to appear on television. But say only what is required by the Members.'' The Speaker lost his cool yet again moments later when Mr Varkala Radhakrishnan (CPI-M), defying the chair's ruling, raised objections over the government moving a Bill aimed at stopping the demolition drive in Delhi.

As Mr Radhakrishnan refused to take note of the Speaker's witty remark ''your fundamental right (to raise objections) has been noted, but not acknowledged,'' Mr Chatterjee said, ''I reject your contentions. You are not cooperating with the chair.'' As the member still persisted with driving home his point, the chair turned witty again, stating that maybe the Kerala assembly election results which helped the Left dislodge the Congress government in that state ''have given him (the member) more exuberance.'' The Speaker, however, ruled that Mr Radhkrishnan's remarks would not go on record.

UNI SN MSJ ND158

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