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Politics

'Routine procedure': Lok Sabha Speaker clarifies guidelines for protests inside Parliament

July 15, 2022 05:30 PM

New Delhi : After the Opposition's criticism over the guidelines to the MPs to refrain from the activities like dharna-demonstration, strikes, and fasting inside the Parliament premises, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla clarified that it is a "routine procedure". "Such guidelines and appeals are issued before every session. Therefore, it should be seen as a normal and routine procedure," Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said in a press conference.

 


This clarification of the Lok Sabha Secretariat has come after several opposition leaders, including Congress leader Jairam Ramesh, raised questions regarding the guidelines. Birla also said that such guidelines have been issued even during the middle session.

 


"This is a routine process (issuing of guidelines) that has been going on since 2009. There should be no politics in this. I urge all political parties not to accuse democratic institutions without facts," he said. It is noteworthy that before the Monsoon session, MPs have been instructed not to hold dharnas, demonstrations, strikes, fasts or any religious events inside the Parliament premises.

 


Along with this, the distribution of any kind of literature, questionnaire, pamphlet, press note, leaflet or any kind of printed matter and bringing any kind of placard into the premises without prior permission of the Speaker of Lok Sabha has also been prohibited. Following the opposition's criticism of the 50-page compilation of words deemed unfit for use in Parliament released by the Lok Sabha secretariat, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday said that "no words have been banned."

 


Earlier on Thursday, amid the row over the questioning of the Lok Sabha secretariat by the Opposition over words listed as "unparliamentary", top sources in the Lower House said that such removal of words has been taking place since 1954 under various political dispensations.

 


Amid the row over the questioning of the Lok Sabha secretariat by the Opposition over words listed as "unparliamentary", top sources in the Lower House on Thursday said that such removal of words has been taking place since 1954 under various political dispensations.

 


Earlier, several senior members of Parliament had criticized the report of the Lok Sabha Secretariat which had released a list of words that have been designated as "unparliamentary". "Any word spoken which is against the ethos of Parliament or disrespectful in nature and can compromise the dignity of the house. The discretion lies with the chair to expunge them," sources had said.

 


"Such compilation has been made since 1954 under various political dispensations. From time to time this has been brought out under various political dispensations," sources had added. The Lok Sabha Secretariat gave some examples of certain words that had been expunged earlier.

 


"The word 'dishonest' was first expunged in a Rajya Sabha debate on August 17, 2011. Similarly, the word 'dishonesty' was first expunged in the Lok Sabha debate on March 3, 2011," sources had said. As part of a Parliament record, the word 'Shame' was expunged on March 21, 2012. The word 'cheating' was taken off the Parliament records as unparliamentary in the Rajya Sabha debate on March 20, 2012.

 


"The chair had expunged the words 'Chori' and 'loot' first time in the Lok Sabha debate on March 13, 2012 and 'jhooth' on April 27, 2012," sources had said. The words 'corrupt' and 'corrupt man' were expunged from the Parliament records on November 17, 1966, in a Lok Sabha debate. "Ayogya - incompetent- first expunged on November 17, 1966, from Parliament records of a Lok Sabha debate," sources had said.

 


Similarly, plenty of such removals have taken place over the years. Referring to the reaction of the Opposition, the government sources had said this is a result of their "bankrupt politics" as the list is not a new suggestion, but merely a compilation of words already expunged in Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, or state legislatures. It also contains a list of words considered unparliamentary in parliaments of Commonwealth countries.

 

"It is abused was considered unparliamentary in Australia's House of Representatives. Childishness was considered unparliamentary in Quebec's National Assembly. Lollipops in the budget were expunged from Punjab Assembly. You have reached where telling a lie was expunged from Punjab Assembly," said the sources. The list comes just ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament that begins on July 18.

 


Usage of many words - such as 'corruption', 'corrupt', 'Jumlajeevi', 'tanashah', 'Dictator', 'black', and 'Khalistani' are among those that have been banned. Senior members of Parliament including Jairam Ramesh Derek O'Brien and Randeep Surjewala Priyanka Chaturvedi had questioned the intent behind such a notification.

 

Derek O'Brien in a tweet had said: "Session begins in a few days. Gag order issued on MPs. Now, we will not be allowed to use these basic words while delivering a speech in Parliament: Ashamed. Abused. Betrayed. Corrupt. Hypocrisy. Incompetent. I will use all these words. Suspend me. Fighting for democracy."

 

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