Former Lok Sabha Speaker and expelled CPI-M leader Somnath Chatterjee on Monday said Jyoti Basu, whom he considered as his 'political guru', had asked him to preside over the crucial trust vote debate in the lower house in 2008, saying that the party cannot give any direction to him as he held a constitutional office.
"I used to go to Basu to take his advice on many matters and I did go to him when this problem came up. He told me that I must preside over the trust vote. Basu also told me nobody can give direction to the speaker," Chatterjee told PTI.
"It would be wrong for the party to do so. Party cannot give direction to a Speaker on how he will conduct himself as a Speaker. The party will be misunderstood by people (in that case)," Chatterjee quoted Basu as telling him.
Basu, however, at the same time had told him it was entirely upto him to take whatever decision he deemed fit regarding his continuance as Speaker after the trust vote, Chatterjee said. "I did according to his direction and in my life he was everything. After talking to him, I regained courage and taking his opinion and permission, I returned to Delhi where I decided finally not to resign from the Speaker's post ahead of the trust vote."
Chatterjee said he thought he had done the right thing morally and taken the right political step by not resigning. "Not for a single day has there been any distance created between me and Basu," Chatterjee said. PTI