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Should the Speaker be given more powers?

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August 09, 2006 19:02 IST
These are tough times for Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee.

The Opposition on Tuesday boycotted Parliament and sat on a dharna for an hour to protest the 'high-handed manner in which the Speaker did not allow them to speak on the privilege motion issue.'

Subsequently, Chatterjee said he would resign from the Speaker's post; the Left parties had to convince the Marxist to stay.

For the last two years, a major grouse that some MPs have had is that the Speaker runs proceedings in the House like a schoolmaster.

But, apart from chiding Members, there is little the Speaker can do when the House is in disorder.

As a result, business in Parliament has taken a hit, leading to two questions in this Speaker-Opposition stand-off?

One, just to prove a point, can the Opposition disrupt Parliament proceedings at will? Two, should the Speaker be given more powers, in order to ensure the smooth functioning of the House?

Tell us.