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‘Parliament Not for Slogans’: Speaker Om Birla Says He Won’t Allow Religious Chants in House

On Tuesday, several newly-elected members took oath amid an intense slogan-shouting contest between treasury and opposition benches.


Updated:June 20, 2019, 9:00 PM IST
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‘Parliament Not for Slogans’: Speaker Om Birla Says He Won’t Allow Religious Chants in House
File photo of Om Birla. (Image: Twitter)

New Delhi: Newly-elected Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has said that he will not allow a repeat of the shouting of religious slogans or heckling in the House as witnessed during the swearing-in of some opposition MPs on Tuesday.

Birla also said he will hold discussions with all parties to address the issue.

“I don’t think Parliament is the place for sloganeering, for showing placards, or for coming to the well,” he said. “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.”

Asked if he could give assurance that heckling will not be repeated, the Speaker said, “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,” Birla said. “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.”

"I will talk to all parties and discuss with them that what action can be taken against those who repeatedly show placards in the house and come to the well. Such actions of the members show Lok Sabha in poor light," Birla added.

Underlining that every member of the house should be heard, Birla said, "Every party will be given opportunity irrespective of their strength even if it has one member. He or she should be heard and the government respond whenever required."

As a custodian of the house, Birla said he is fully aware of his responsibilities but added, "Members should also understand they have been elected by lakhs of people. They should raise issues which matter to the last person standing in the row."

Birla also assured the Lok Sabha members that he will remain fair and unbiased.

On Tuesday, several members took oath amid an intense slogan-shouting contest between treasury and opposition benches.

While ‘Jai Sri Ram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ were heard intermittently during the day, the pitch for ‘mandir wahin banayenge’, a reference to the demand of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, were raised after Unnao BJP leader Sakshi Maharaj’s swearing-in. Maharaj took oath in Sanskrit and concluded with ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Jai Sri Ram’ slogans.

Hyderabad MP-elect Asaduddin Owaisi, too, walked down the staircase of the House to take oath amid chants of 'Jai Shri Ram' and Vande Mataram'. He could be seen raising his hands and gesturing the lawmakers to continue the slogans. As soon as he ended the oath with three chants, a few MPs yelled ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.

He later told ANI, “It is good that they remember such things when they see me, I hope they will also remember the Constitution and the deaths of children in Muzaffarpur.”

Birla, a two-time BJP MP from Rajasthan's Kota district, has been unanimously elected as the new Lok Sabha Speaker after opposition parties supported his candidature.

(With inputs from PTI)

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