A designated smoking area in Parliament which had earlier been closed will be restored for lawmakers from Thursday.
Some MPs had last week cut across party lines and registered their protest against the removal of this designated area. The troubled MPs had also met Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan on the issue earlier this week.
They had requested for a ‘smoking room’ after the space adjacent to the Central Hall had been converted for another use.
A stenographers’ pool was reportedly using the room, which was till date used by MPs to enjoy a smoke. The stenographers have now been allotted a room on the third floor of Parliament House.
Also, the room on the ground floor which was earlier being used by the stenographers pool has now been allotted to Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress which had been long asking for an office for its Parliamentary Party.
“Please do not give the news or else anti-smoking activists would throw a spanner in getting an alternate accommodation,” a BJP MP remarked.
A Congress MP, who was part of the group who had met the Speaker on the issue, alleged that the space was not apt for stenographers.
After telling the MPs in half-jest that they should quit smoking, Mahajan reportedly told them she had to look after everyone’s demands.
An informal arrangement of a ‘smokers room’ had been made after the then speaker Somnath Chatterjee had declared the Central Hall and Parliament lobbies a ‘no smoking’ zone in 2004.