In an emotional address in October 2008, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee appealed to members to introspect and allow for smooth proceedings in the House. Calling it the “worst period of his life”, Somnath Chatterjee said MPs should allow the House to remain, to function and for democracy to be strengthened.
“Show little respect, please. If you think you are strengthening your cause of democracy, it is for you to decide. I am requesting, please introspect. Every day, from one second past 11 am, there is commotion,” Chatterjee said. “I want this institution, which I have been associated with for nearly 40 years, to remain, to function and for democracy to be strengthened. I am going back with a lot of pain and agony from this House.”
I am going back with a lot of pain and agony from this House
Somnath Chatterjee’s address was after he was criticised for ‘favouring’ MPs from the CPM. This was after he disassociated from the party following a no-confidence motion against the UPA-I government. He had refused to vote against the government, and in favour of the NDA, after the CPM withdrew its support from the UPA.
“Tell me which issue I have refused? Every day you are getting up and not listening to me. If I take strong action, I am criticised, if I take mild action, I am criticised,” Somnath said. “The Leader of Opposition and the Leader of the House assured me, in the presence of everybody, that they will cooperate. but this is, unfortunately, only for sake of statements,” he added.
Chatterjee passed away on Monday morning due to multiple organ failure. He was 89.