Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 19
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today urged the newly elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to rap the ruling side MPs should they bend House rules even as he assured the government’s full cooperation on smooth functioning of Parliament.
PM Modi heaped praises on Birla, who was unanimously elected Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha after a motion moved by PM Modi and seconded by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was carried unanimously by a voice vote.
Eleven motions supporting Birla were moved by NDA allies and Opposition together. The entire Opposition supported Birla, a three-time ex-MLA from Rajasthan and a two-time MP. After the election, PM Modi was joined by all leaders in escorting Birla to the Speaker’s chair.
The PM termed the Speaker’s election a matter of pride and hailed Birla as “former colleague with roots in BJP’s youth and student politics”.
The PM referred to how Birla had always centred his politics around social service, helping people in Gujarat and Uttarakhand earthquakes; running schemes in Kota to feed poor (Prasadam Scheme) and clothe them (Paridhan Scheme), besides distributing blankets to Kota’s poor at night.
“It’s a matter of pride that you are gracing this chair today,” said the PM after the Speaker’s election. The PM, however, warned Birla of the challenges his chair brings, adding: “You can intervene and rap us when we bend rules and we are sure you will both discipline and inspire us.”
The Speaker later said the Chair must not only be impartial, but must also be seen to be impartial. He appealed to the government to work with greater accountability and transparency and to the Opposition to raise relevant people-oriented issues in the House. Opposition leaders earlier urged Birla to give them adequate space, with Congress flagging the need for greater parliamentary scrutiny of Bills and lesser use of ordinance route.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary rued Jai Shri Ram and Allah-o-Akbar slogans in the House during oath taking saying “this is not right”.
DMK’s TR Baalu said, “We hope you (the Speaker) remain impartial like the lotus and take everyone along.”
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