Though former Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who died today at the age of 89 years, was generally calm and composed, he once lost his cool while presiding over the House proceedings.
While presiding over the Lok Sabha on October 23, 2008, he was being attacked by the members of his former party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) — CPI(M). On the other hand, the House was witnessing pandemonium.
His remarks came when soon after CPI (M) leader Basudeb Acharia asked about the fate of the notice for an adjournment motion he had given on the issue of attacks on minorities.
This was followed by uproarious scenes as opposition members sought to disrupt the proceedings of the House.
Somnath Chatterjee appealed to the MPs to maintain order. However, his pleas went unheeded. This had been a regular feature for the past few days.
Somnath Chatterjee adjourned the house for a while. But when the proceedings resumed, he appeared visibly upset.
“This is the worst period of my life…I am going back with a lot of pain and agony from this House,” an anguished Somnath Chatterjee said.
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“Please show little respect. This has become fashion nowadays. If you think that you are strengthening the cause of democracy, it is for you decide. I am on my way out. Don’t think it will influence me,” Chatterjee observed.
Somnath Chatterjee said, “Naturally, I will be targeted but I do not mind. My only reply is please do some introspection…If I did not take strong action, I am criticised and if I take very mild action, that is also criticised.”
Somnath Chatterjee, a ten-term MP of the Lok Sabha, also announced in the House that he was no aspirant for anything. “Personally you can take it I am out.”
And it was Somnath Chatterjee’s last term as an MP. He never contested thereafter.
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