Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan on Thursday courted a fresh controversy with her reaction to Priyanka Gandhi’s entry in politics. Reacting to Priyanka Gandhi’s appointment as the AICC General Secretary for Eastern Uttar Pradesh, Mahajan said that this was a sign that Congress President Rahul Gandhi could not do politics all alone.
“She (Priyanka Gandhi Vadra) is a good woman and Rahul Ji has accepted he can’t do politics all alone, and for that he is taking Priyanka’s help. It is a good thing,” Mahajan was quoted by news agency ANI.
No sooner were her comments made public, journalists and social media users declared her an IT Cell ‘troll.’
A Sanghi is a Sanghi – Even if she is Speaker Sumitra Mahajan!! https://t.co/KKGEDRq3TD
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) January 24, 2019
Sumitra Mahajan bringing more glory to the Speaker’s office by speaking like an IT cell troll…. https://t.co/2kQjwKJxup
— Rohini Singh (@rohini_sgh) January 24, 2019
Sumitra mahajan says that Rahul gandhi seeking help of his sister proves he is weak and incapable.
This is nothing ma’am, few years back a son made his mother stand in ATM line to hide his incapbaility and weakness
— nehr_who? (@Nehr_who) January 24, 2019
But, this is not the only time Mahajan has caused disgrace to the post of the Lok Sabha Speaker. Although, she has been accused of acting in a partisan manner all through her term as the Speaker, here are four notable occasions when she faced condemnation for her biased role as the Lok Sabha Speaker.
Mahajan had to face criticism from Rahul Gandhi and other Congress leaders for her ‘biased conduct’ during the Monsoon session of the parliament in 2014. Accusing Mahajan of not allowing him to speak, Gandhi had said, “We are not being allowed to speak in Parliament. We are asking for discussion. There is a mentality in the government that discussion is not acceptable. Everybody feels it, their party feels it, we feel it, everybody feels it.”
Realising the adverse impact on her image very early in her term as the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mahajan had wasted no time in denying the allegations of biases. She had told reporters outside the parliament, “I ask you if you will go merely by the allegation somebody levels. You (media) are also witnessing the functioning of Parliament.”
During the Winter Session of parliament in 2015, the leader of opposition Mallikarjun Kharge had to go to the press to share his pain after not being allowed by Mahajan to speak in the parliament on multiple occasions. Kharge said that while Mahajan would always use ‘rules’ to prevent Congress leaders from speaking, she was doing ‘one way batting’ in favour of the members of the treasury benches. (Watch here)
Mahajan once again came under huge condemnation after she let off BJP MP Anurag Thakur with just a warning for his act of filming parliamentary proceedings. Kharge alleged that while Mahajan had dealt with Thakur mildly, she wasn’t so kind towards six Congress MPs, who were suspended for just asking for a debate on mob lynchings. Congress MPs also asked Mahajan why AAP’s Bhagwant Mann had to face a Privileges Committee inquiry for a similar act while Thakur was let off with just a warning.
Last year, Rahul Gandhi caused quite an embarrassment for the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he walked up to Modi’s seat and stunned him with a surprise hug. This was after he was routinely heckled by BJP MPs, who made desperate efforts to stop him from attacking the Modi government’s failed policies. Unsurprisingly, Lok Sabha Speaker Mahajan, made no notable efforts to ensure an uninterrupted speech by the Congress president.
Later, the Lok Sabha Speaker took objection to Rahul hugging Modi and called it a natak (drama) adding that by hugging the prime minister the Congress president had breached the House’s established decorum.
Mahajan will be next seen occupying the Speaker’s Chair for the last time during this year’s interim Budget session in February. She is unlikely to be elected as the next Speaker of the Lok Sabha if her party fails to win this year’s parliamentary polls, likely to be held in April and May.