NEW DELHI: Religious and patriotic sloganeering ruled the inaugural session of the 17th Lok Sabha.
As Members of Parliament during the swearing-in ceremony jostled with each other in a verbal slugfest to put forth their ideological leanings, newly-elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Thursday that he won’t allow such chanting of slogans in Parliament.
“I don’t think Parliament is the place for sloganeering, for showing placards, or for coming to the well,” he was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times on Thursday. “There is a road for that where they can go and demonstrate. Whatever people want to say here, whatever allegations they have, however they want to attack the government they can, but they can’t come to the gallery and do all this.”
When the Speaker was asked if he could assure that heckling is not repeated, Om Birla said he could not. “I don’t know if it will happen again but we will try to run Parliament by the rules,’’ he said. “Jai Shri Ram slogans, Jai Bharat, Vande Mataram, I said this was an old issue,” adding “during a debate, it is different. Every time, there are different circumstances. What are the circumstances is decided by the person sitting in the speaker’s chair.”
The BJP nominated 56-year-old Om Birla and with no opposition, the election of Birla, a two-time BJP member from Kota in Rajasthan is a smooth affair and he was chosen unanimously as the Speaker of the 17th Lok Sabha on Wednesday.