Kolkata: Former Lok Sabha Speaker and
expelled CPI-M leader Somnath Chatterjee today 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 said.
"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,
"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.