Self-censorship? Lok Sabha Speaker expunges her own remarks after Congress raises concern
In a rare act, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday agreed to expunge her own 'vested interest' remarks made on Tuesday.
New Delhi: In a rare act, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Wednesday agreed to expunge her own "vested interest" remarks made on Tuesday against members protesting in the Well, after Congress expressed concern, saying it was not right on part of the Chair to make such a remark.
Soon after the House condoled the death of 10 people in a BSF plane crash on Tuesday, Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge raised concern over the Speaker's remarks.
On Tuesday, when Congress members were protesting in the Well, Mahajan had said they don't have any national interest and they only have vested interest.
Noting that she did not take the name of any party while making the remarks, Mahajan on Wednesday said it was made when members were protesting in the Well of the House.
"I did not take name of (any) party... I will definitely expunge the 'vested interest' remark... I am sorry," she said.
Wondering what would happen tomorrow, Kharge said the Speaker's remarks on Tuesday was unfortunate and it hurt them.
"(The remarks) were not proper," he noted.
"We are bringing up issues on national interest" whether about Union Minister VK Singh or Arunachal Pradesh or any other matter, Kharge said, adding that whatever problems have happened, the government was responsible.
Mahajan said "unko (Congress) bhi kisi baat ke liye dukh hua hai. Achchi baat hai ki woh sochen unki kise baat se doosre bhi aahat ho sakte hain (They are hurt for some reason. It would be good if they also think that for their actions some others might have also been hurt)".
Dissatisfied with the Speaker's response when Congress members began to protest, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu said such actions by the Opposition was not allowed in the House.
"Nobody can question the conduct of the Speaker in the House," the Minister said.
Earlier when the House assembled and the Question Hour began, Congress members trooped into the Well raising slogans over Finance Minister Arun Jaitley's alleged role in the irregularities in the Delhi cricket body DDCA.
Amid the protests, Jaitley and BJP MP Kirti Azad, who has also targeted the Finance Minister over the DDCA affairs, walked into the House.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Sonia Gandhi were also present in the House.
"You are like mother of the House. We respect you", the Parliamentary Affairs Minister told the Speaker and attacked the Congress for creating controversy over "one word."
"For one word, they are being so intolerant", Naidu remarked soon after Congress members staged a walkout in the Zero Hour protesting against the government not paying heed to its demand.
Accusing the Congress of being "intolerant" to the mandate of the people, he told the Speaker that while conducting the House she had to bear with many things like the protests.
He said the opposition party did not allow the Question Hour to be held properly in the session as its members staged protests in the Well.
Hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi as "most powerful leader in the world", Naidu said the Congress has been accusing and abusing Modi.
"They have not been able to digest the mandate of the people. We are very tolerant that is why they are in the Well of the House. They are intolerant towards the mandate of the people. This cannot be tolerated", the Minister said.
SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav said the Speaker should have called a meeting of leaders of all parties for discussion.
Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, who had returned to the House by this time, protested against Naidu making comments against the opposition in his absence.
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