New Delhi, Jun 21 : First day at his job presiding over the proceedings of Lok Sabha, Speaker Om Birla on Friday mildly pulled up Congress floor leader Adhir Chowdhury and urged him not to leave his seat and interact with other colleagues when the House is in business.
This happened after Question Hour when the House was to take up the much talked about Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019.
Amid the din as AIMIM member Asadudddin Owaisi and other members wanted to raise 'objection' to the introduction of the high profile draft law, Mr Chowdhury had in between moved near the seat of Mr Owaisi and was seen whispering for a while.
The Speaker urged the member from West Bengal to return to his seat and said "aisa sadan nahi chalega (This House cannot function like this).
Mr Chowdhury again earned yet another mild rebuke from the Chair shortly thereafter as he had gone to back benches to interact with his party colleague Shashi Tharoor, perhaps on deciding the party's parliamentary strategy on the Triple Talaq legislation issue.
The Speaker urged the members not to indulge in cross talking.
Several opposition members, however, objected to Speaker's observation against the senior lawmaker.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill which has been passed in Lok Sabha twice - in 2017 and 2018 - but stalled in the Upper House, seeks to prohibit instant divorce given to Muslim women by pronouncing the word 'Talaq' thrice by their husbands and to provide for matters connected therewith.
The Congress and other opposition parties have been essentially opposed to the provisions under the new bill that seeks to send the 'erring husbands' for three years imprisonment.
Mr Chowdhury, a former West Bengal Congress chief, was first elected to Lok Sabha in 1999 and since then has returned to the House successfully in all polls in 2004, 2009 and 2014 besides this year.
The Congress leadership has made Mr Chowdhury party's new floor leader in the Lok Sabha. He succeeds party veteran Mallikarjun Kharge, who was the party's leader in the 16th Lok Sabha but lost the election this year. (UNI)