THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan on Tuesday flayed the Opposition for the manner in which they have been staging protests in the House ever since the current Assembly session began. Terming the protest as “unprecedented”, Sreeramakrishnan told reporters that UDF members physically prevented the Chair from seeing the members.
The Speaker urged the Opposition to exercise self-restraint during the protests. “It is the basic lesson of parliamentary democracy to respect the Chair and abide by the Speaker’s rulings,” he said.Sreeramakrishnan criticised the Opposition for disrupting question hour for the second straight day. The Chair is duty bound to allow members to raise supplementary questions during question hour. For that to happen, the Chair should see and identify the members, he said.
“It is unfortunate that the Opposition did not allow the Speaker to see the members. Despite repeated appeals, the Opposition hasn’t relented. In such a scenario, the Chair had no other option but to suspend question hour,” Sreeramakrishnan said.
Suspending question hour every day means denying the people their right to ask questions in the Assembly through their elected representatives, Sreeramakrishnan noted. The Speaker said that Assembly proceedings for the day were cut short as the business could not be conducted in a decorous and smooth manner. Sreeramakrishnan said the Chair was not against any type of protest or expression of emotions in the House. During the last nine sessions of the Assembly, the rights of the Opposition have been protected, he added.
All matters raised by the Leader of the Opposition have been allowed and the Speaker has taken a stand that has been supportive of the Opposition, Sreeramakrishnan said. He said the Opposition was free to bring up the adjournment motion on the same matter on Wednesday at an appropriate time.