26 Feb : Describing his five-year tenure as Lok Sabha Speaker as a "great opportunity", Somnath Chatterjee has said the worst moment during his term was 22nd July 2008 when MPs displayed wads of currency notes during the Trust Vote debate.
"It was a great opportunity…I never expected it but I got it," Chatterjee told reporters in the Parliament premises on Thursday on his innings as Speaker. Refusing to comment on the lows, he said "I don’t want to say now. After I actually quit, I will say."
Chatterjee served as Speaker in one of the most eventful Lok Sabhas which saw many controversial debates.On the worst moment of the 14th Lok Sabha, Chatterjee said, "July 22, 2008 when those notes were shown."
He was referring to the cash-for-vote case, when three BJP MPs displayed wads of cash in the Lower House and accused the UPA government of offering bribes to MPs to win the Trust Vote.
Chatterjee, who often expressed his anguish over the misbehaviour of MPs in the House and at times even threatened to resign, said he did not find anything amiss in being called a "headmaster".
"What is wrong with a headmaster…It is a good profession. Don’t we respect headmasters…what is wrong…how is it derogative?" he said.The former CPI(M) leader had also earned a reputation of upholding the high standards of the legislature.
He hoped his successors would bring more laurels than he did. "Obviously. I hope more than me," he said.