I would like to congratulate and thank all the  Members  and  all  the
political  parties who have supported and elected Shri Balayogi as the Speaker
of this  House.    In  this  regard,  I  would  like  to  convey  my   deepest
felicitations and congratulations to Shri Balayogi and offer him the unstinted
cooperation  from  the  Telugu Desam Party in the proper conduct of the House.
Now that election of the Speaker is over, I appeal to all the Members and  the
political parties, to cooperate with the Speaker in conducting the proceedings
of the  House in a dignified manner as envisaged in the Constitution.  You are
aware of the fact that running this House is not an easy task but  I  am  sure
that  with able qualities that Shri Balayogi possesses, he would come out with
flying colours in running the House.

I pray to the Almighty to provide him all the strength and guidance to run the House in a dignified and impartial manner, and to the satisfaction of the Members of this august House.

THE MINISTER OF STEEL AND MINES (SHRI NAVEEN PATNAIK) : Hon. Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of Biju Janata Dal, I rise to felicitate you on your election to the office of hon. Speaker. If the destiny of the nation is vested in this august House, its destiny is vested in the hands of hon. Speaker. I am sure, Sir, in you this hon. House has found the most competent person to preside over it.

It is also a great honour to the nation that a dalit has risen to the high office of Speaker. You entered politics in 1982 but in a short span of five years, you rose to become District Panchayat Council head. You were elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991. Till recently you were the Minister in charge of Higher Education in Andhra Pradesh Government. Now you have entered the Lok Sabha for the second time and are elevated to the high office of hon. Speaker.

On behalf of the Biju Janata Dal, I congratulate you once again and assure our full cooperation in the days to come.


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MR. SPEAKER: Will any Member from the CPI party speak?

SHRI INDRAJIT GUPTA (MIDNAPORE): Mr. Speaker, Sir, I am not keeping very good health. So, I will just speak a few words, mainly to offer to you on behalf of the CPI group our sincere congratulations on your elevation to this august Chair and to assure you that you will receive our fullest cooperation in conducting this House according to the rules of procedure and the traditions of Parliament. I am personally, and my group also, is delighted that after 50 years of Independence, we have today - I do not know whether wittingly or unwittingly - rectified an omission, which I think was a blot on the history of our country, namely, to elevate a member of your community, the Dalit community to this Chair. It should have been done long long ago, many years ago, but we failed to do it.

The last time we elected the Speaker, Sir, this House chose a leader and representative of the tribal people of the North-East, Shri Purno A. Sangma. It was done deliberately in order to send out a signal to those people who are inhabiting one of the most troubled regions of our country and I think that was a very wise step that we took and today by electing you, Sir, another message will go out to crores of Dalits and other deprived, exploited and down-trodden masses of our country that this House has not forgotten them and has given the highest honour in the Parliament to one of its representatives.

Sir, you are a fortunate man, if you will allow me to say so. In almost an overnight, you have acquired fame, fame not only in this country, I should say, fame abroad also because the speakership of the Indian Parliament is not a very small matter and people who had never heard your name - Sir, no offence meant to you - perhaps 24 hours ago will now and every day recognise, salute and respect a member of the Dalit community who has become the Speaker of this House. That is a matter of great satisfaction and pride to all of us.

We remember, Sir, that 50 years ago on the eve of Independence, the Prime Minister of a country which had kept us enslaved for 250 years - I am referring to Sir Winston Churchill - speaking in the House of Commons in London had warned that once the British left India, the country would fall to pieces, it could not survive as a single entity, these Indians would fight each other, there would be riots, there would be fighting and the country would be ruined. That was Winson Churchill's dream perhaps and what he was wanting to foretell. Now, after 50 years everybody can see that India is one of the foremost republics in this world. We are proud to be citizens of this republic which is standing with its head held high in the international comity of nations.

I would just remind you that on the eve of this election th

ough which we have just passed, millions of people of this country were having apprehension as to whether there would be a stable Government or were we in for another hung Parliament? These questions were there everywhere. Hung Parliament, perhaps, is not properly understood, but anyway, will there be a stable Government or will we again go in for an election within a year or two? This is a big challenge to all of us, because the credibility of this institution, the credibility of this Parliament itself is being questioned by the people throughout the country.

Who is responsible for that? We are responsible. The way we conduct ourselves, the way we behave, whether we are able to respond to the desires of the common man or not or whether we spend a lot of time here on matters which are really of no consequence. All these matters have to be seriously considered by all of us. When you are sitting there, Sir, I would request you to pay special attention to this question. The credibility of this House must be restored in the eyes of the people. The credibility has gone down. Why has it gone down? We all need to consider that in a self-critical way. I am sure that if we all seriously make an attempt, the House will be restored to its former pride and glory and you will have played very vital role in that.

Sir, I do not want to add anything more. I assure you of our cooperation and wish you well.

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SHRI MURASOLI MARAN (MADRAS CENTRAL): Mr. Speaker, Sir, on behalf of the D.M.K. Party and on my own behalf, I offer my hearty congratulations on your election as the Speaker of this House.

Sir, before continuing to offer my encomiums to you I would like to share the views of Somnath Babu and Paswanji regarding the services rendered by your predecessor Thiru Sangma. He was so famous for his fairness and independence; above all we appreciate his courage. He roared like a lion whenever somebody committed any mistake, in righteous anger. Therefore, I would pay my tribute to Thiru Sangma and call him the `Lion of North Eastern India'.

Sir, in a lighter vein, if I say something you should pardon me (Interruptions).

anything unparliamentary... (Interruptions)

SHRI RAM VILAS PASWAN : What is wrong in it?

MR. SPEAKER: Please continue.

... (Interruptions)

SHRI AJIT JOGI: Sir, he has every right to say what he is saying... (Interruptions)

MR. SPEAKER: Please continue.

SHRI MURASOLI MARAN : Sir, I am continuing. Sir, if I say something in a lighter vein you should pardon me. Yesterday, three minutes before the deadline of filing nominations that is by 11.57 a.m., you filed your nomination papers. One newspaper titled it like this:

"It was three minutes to stardom for Bala Yogi."

Sir, if somebody attains a position, people used to say, `thank the stars'. Regarding yourselves, we should say, `thank the Indian Airlines'. Otherwise somebody else would have been there... (Interruptions)

I share the views of hon. Thiru Barnala. As he has put it, you belong to a regional party and most importantly you belong to the oppressed section of the society. Therefore, we are doubly happy.

Sir, there is a feeling that to conduct the House one requires to have extraordinary genius. But I do not think so. In the House of Commons they used to say that to run the House you need what they call, "House of Commons' Tact". I would say to run this House you would require the `Lok Sabha Tact'. You may like to ask how one could get it. When I entered this House in 1967 as a Member of the Lok Sabha, at that time hon. Thiru Neelam Sanjiva Reddy, the great son of Andhra Pradesh and the great son of India was adorning the Chair of the hon. Speaker. At that time the giants like Thiru Nath Pai, Thiru Madhu Limaye, Thiru A.K. Gopalan, Thiru Dange, Prof. N.G. Ranga, Thiru P. Ramamurthy, Thiru M.R. Masani, Thiru N.C. Chatterjee, the father of Thiru Somnath Chatterjee and a number of giants were there. They used to raise so many questions, so many points of order and so many other interruptions. Thiru Neelam Sanjiva Reddy sitting there as the Speaker never used to touch the rule book. He used to run the House by tact and a sense of humour. Therefore, I would request you that if there is any problem you should follow the footsteps of that great son of Andhra Pradesh, Thiru Neelam Sanjiva Reddy.

Sir, the need to do business in this House is the paramount need of the hour. The danger of legislative paralysis is looming large because people has given a fractured mandate. It is a fractured verdict. They could have given 20 more there or 20 more here. But it did not happen. So, the nembers are equally poised. Therefore, the "political engineering", if I may use this word of euphemism, has to be adopted more often. I used to say "political engineering". This is what has happened today. In other words, the number game has to be played very correctly every day, every time and in every voting in this House. It is because Indian politics is bogged down in a morass of internal contradictions and conflicting political interests and seem to be drifting apart.

So, consensus becomes the key word, and that is what the hon. Prime Minister also stated in his television speech. But what is consensus? Consensus cannot be of the type which we have seen over the Speaker's election. We want a real and genuine consensus. I think, we can get it from the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Sir, the Speaker has to play a critical role in a parliamentary democracy. He has to play the role of a school teacher, interpreter and the role of a person who cajoles with a carrot and controls and disciplines with a stick without exhibiting it. Most importantly, the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution has given a new dimension to the Office of the Speaker. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha is more powerful than the Speaker of the House of Commons. So, you have to play the role of a judge also -- an impartial judge. In some States, this power has been misused. The Speaker's post is the third highest constitutional office in our land, and we should not diminish the stature of the Office of the Speaker.

Sir, as the former Speaker has stated, "Bala" means "a child or a young person" and "Yogi" means "a sage". So, your name suggests that you are a young yogi. Now, this "Balayogi" should become a "Karmayogi". As the word "Karma" means "duty", you should do your duty in an impartial manner so that you get the appreciation from one and all and you become another Sangmaji and are able to conduct the House in a proper manner. As he very rightly said, we should not paralyse the House. There should not be a legislative paralysis just because everyone of us is an expert in paralysing the proceedings of the House. That is why, consensus is necessary and, I think, it will be offered and taken.

Sir, with this belief, on behalf of the DMK Party, I offer you our congratulations, felicitations and our promise of fullest cooperation. SHRI SHIVRAJ V. PATIL (LATUR): Sir, the Leader of the Congress Party has already spoken. I am standing here to speak as a former Speaker of this House. I know the ecstasy and the agony of the person who occupies that exalted position in this House. I would say that you may have more agony and less of ecstasy. I know that the situation in the House is such that unless every Member of this House and every leader of different political parties cooperate with the Chair, the task of the Chair is going to be quite difficult and onerous. I am sure that the experienced leaders who have occupied the positions of high office on that side and this side -- the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the leaders of different parties -- have always cooperated with the Chair, and I have no doubt that the present Prime Minister, the present Leader of the Opposition and other leaders of different parties will cooperate with you.

Once I was asked: "What are the qualities that a Presiding Officer needs?" I had said that "it is good if the Presiding Officer understands the law, but it is not enough and that he should understand the political situation also because the decisions which have to be taken from that Chair are not only legal decisions -- they are certainly legal decisions -- but they have a political element also." So, it is not enough if the hon. Speaker or the Deputy-Speaker or the Chairperson understands the law and the political situation. What would be needed is the understanding of the psychology, that is, why a Member is standing up, why a Member is asking a question and why a Member is feeling agitated. If the Presiding Officer has full sympathy for the Member, I am sure that he would get full cooperation from the Member also. You are a person, I am sure, who has a lot of sympathy for those who need the support and help. I am sure, from that Chair, you will be giving that kind of sympathy to all the Members.

Over and above all, the final point which I want to make and which is very important according to me is that the last quality that is required is the quality to control oneself. You are a yogi and a yogi has the quality to control oneself. If the Presiding Officer controls himself, then the House is controlled.

If the Presiding Officer feels ruffled, disturbed and confused, I am sure that is reflected in the House also. I have no doubt that in your name and in your personality, that quality of Yogi is there and that will help you.

May God help you.


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