New Delhi, June 19: Leader of Congress party in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said on Wednesday that since the Speaker is the presiding officer and custodian of the House, he should maintain neutrality and urged the newly-elected Speaker Om Birla to take measures to curb farmers' suicide in the country.
'Prime Minister said that there should not be paksh (ruling side) or vipaksh (opposition), only 'nishpaksh' (impartiality), but I say that since there is multi-party system in democracy. There is 'bahupaksh' (many parties), so you should be 'nishpaksh' (impartial),' said Chowdhury in his maiden speech as the floor leader of the principal opposition party in the 17th Lok Sabha.
A happy and relieved looking Sonia Gandhi held hands of Congress president Rahul Gandhi first and then shook hands with Chowdhury, congratulating him profusely for his speech.Incidentally, today is Gandhi's birthday.
Felicitating the Speaker, Chowdhury said, 'You are an agriculturist. There are farmers' suicides taking place in the country. I hope you will take initiative to curb this".The remarks led to some uproarious scenes with BJP members objecting to such remarks on the solemn occasion.Congratulating Birla, the Congress MP said their party believed in debate, discussions and decision and hoped that he will maintain the sanctity of democracy of the nation.
Chowdhury also urged that bills should be sent to Standing Committees and Ordinance route to enact new laws should be avoided.Wishing well for the new presiding officer, Chowdhury recited a couplet 'Khuda Se Kya Mangu Tere wastey, Sada Khushiyan Ho Tere Raste, Hansi Rahe Tere Chehare Pe Is Tarah, Khushaboo Phoolo Ka Sath Nibhati Hai Jis Tarah.'
Leader of Trinamool Congress Sudip Bandyapadhyay also echoed similar sentiments and said the presiding officer should be impartial.He said in order to avoid the problem of monopoly of single party domination, preference should be given to opposition parties. (UNI)