Follow rules of protest, don’t show placards: Speaker to members

New Delhi, July 30 (IANS) Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday said she has urged members to express their protest following the rules and not show placards in the house.

Talking to media persons after a meeting of leaders of the Lok Sabha convened by her to ensure orderly functioning of the house, Mahajan said a beginning has to be made to give up practices being followed but which were against the rules.

The Lok Sabha witnessed repeated disruptions and unruly scenes last week with placards being displayed by the Opposition demanding the resignation of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and BJP chief ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Singh Chouhan.

The treasury benches also responded with their own placards targeting the Congress.

On Monday, the speaker “named” Congress member Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for disregarding and insulting the chair by banging a placard on her table during protests on the Lalit Modi and the Vyapam issues.

Mahajan said children and students witness proceedings of the house and incidents of indiscipline were very wrong.

Agreeing that the practice of the opposition members coming near the speaker’s podium to emphasise their point was not new, Mahajan said a beginning has to be made to stop practices which were against the rules.

“Rules should be followed. There are rules to express protest,” she said.

Mahajan said she has asked members to decide on the issues raised by her. “All have agreed to them in a way. The decision is not easy. It is beginning,” she said.

Referring to Congress members complaining that their protests in the house were not being shown on Lok Sabha television channel, she said rules were framed in 2010 to not show protests near the podium and keep the camera focused on the chair or the member speaking from his or her seat.

“The rules were not made today,” she said.

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