Speaker’s column: what Somnath Chatterjee said


New Delhi : For the second day Tuesday, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee had his hands full while presiding over the debate on the crucial vote of confidence for the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government.

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His one-liners in Bengali-accented Hindi through the day kept the House in good humour. In his stentorian voice, Chatterjee was either rebuking MPs or asking them to cooperate.

Some of his quotes were :

– “Your shouting is a disease and it is spreading,” to members who were disrupting proceedings.

– “The time has come when this parliament should face elections”, while chiding members again.

– At 11.55 a.m. – “I will put the motion to vote now if the house behaves in this manner.”

– “You are very intelligent, don’t pose to be so.” (To BJP members)

– “Never before has this house heard some of the speeches I have heard this time.” (To Communist leader Gurudas Das Gupta.)

– “Aap naam se wati hata dijiye.” (To Rahul Gandhi – you remove the ‘wati’ from the name). This was in reference to the name of a woman, Kalawati, mentioned by Gandhi in his speech. Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) members had stood up to protest the name Kalawati. The obvious reference was to the ‘wati’ in BSP leader and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati’s name.

– “You don’t worry, lawyers are there for it.” (on legal clarifications on the nuclear deal.)

– “Kya ho raha. Go to your seats.” (What is happening?)

– “Behen-ji bas ho gaya.” (To young MP Ranjeet Ranjan, requesting her to end her speech).

– ” They (convicted MPs) are honourable members of this house. No aspersions should be made on them.” (With regard to jailbirds Pappu Yadav (Rajesh Ranjan) and Mohammad Shahabuddin who were brought to the house for the trust vote).