Karat behind Somnath’s expulsion
Filed Under: Politics, World | Posted: 07/30/2010 at 10:19PM
Comments | Region: India
Somnath Chattarjee who was expelled from the Communist Party of India (Marxist) blamed general secretary Prakash Karat for his expulsion in his new book ‘Keeping the faith :Memoirs of a Parliamentarian’.But Central leadership of CPI (M) as well as West Bengal state party secretary, Biman Bose slammed Somnath Chatterjee for his comments on CPM general secretary Prakash Karat.
In 2008,CPI(M) expelled Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee from the party on the ground of ‘seriously compromising’ its position.The action had been taken under Article 19 (13) of the party constitution for ‘seriously compromising’ the party position.Among those who attended the politburo meeting were general secretary Prakash Karat, Sitaram Yechury, M K Pandhe, S R Pillai and Brinda Karat.Vetern Communist leader Chatterjee had been under pressure to quit the constitutional post after the four left parties withdrew support to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government following their differences over the India-US nuclear deal. However, the 79-year-old veteran parliamentarian refused to toe the party line and continued as speaker of the House during the crucial session in which the government proved its majority. "The politburo of the CPM has unanimously decided to expel Somnath Chatterjee from the membership of the party with immediate effect," a party statement said after a meeting of its politburo.’The expulsion was one of the saddest days of my life’ he commented after his explusion. He suggested that future speakers should resign from their respective parties while serving as speaker of House of the People to help ensure its non-partisan standing.
In India,the chief parliamentary officer of the House of the people is the speaker.The speaker’s office carries great honour and dignity.He performs his function with complete independence and impartiality.The speaker of the House of People is elected by the House from among its members as soon as a new House of the People is formed after the general election but in practice the speaker is the nominee of the majority party in the House of the People(Somnath Chatterjee is from CPI-M).The speaker is elected for the life of the House(five years).But he may be removed from his office earlier by a resolution of the House.One of the distinctive features of the office of the Speaker is that he does not vacate his office even when the House of the People is dissolved.He may continue to remain in office until a new speaker is elected by the House.Speaker presides over the meeting of the House.The primary duty of the speaker is to control debate.It is also his responsibility to see that parliamentary time is used properly.He may adjourn the House.If there is no quorum,he may suspend the meeting of the House.No member of the House of the People has the power to speak without his consent.In the House of the People,voting takes place under the direction of the speaker.The speaker is not entitled to vote in the first instance.But he may exercise a casting vote in case of a tie.The decision of the speaker is final on the question whether a particular bill is money bill or not