Former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has declined Congress party's offer for a nominated member seat in Rajya Sabha saying that he would not give his critics a handle to criticize him on this account.
Chatterjee said in Kolkata on Friday that on October 21, he wrote to Home Minister P Chidambaram rejecting the offer of the government for making him a nominated member of Rajya Sabha.
“I cannot answer why the Congress gave me the offer. But if I had taken the offer people will say that I have accepted the Congress's offer which I would not be able to digest.
And the second thing is that after spending 40 years in Lok Sabha in which I was speaker for five years, I did not think I would have been able to contribute much to Parliament. And a nominated member does not have much scope”, Chatterjee said.
The former Speaker revealed it was not the first time the Congress sent him an offer to accept a post. “Four months back I got the offer to become the Governor of one of the states. Before that I also got the offer to become an ambassador. But I turned down all those offers. I never worked under anybody, and now also I cannot do that”, he said.
“I got lucrative offers to join the Bar and I could have earned lots of money through the legal profession. But I want to live a quiet, peaceful life”, he said.
Chatterjee was summarily expelled from the CPI(M) after he refused to resign the Speaker's post when the Left brought a no-confidence motion against Manmohan Singh government in Lok Sabha.