Chair has no switch to turn off mics: LS Speaker Om Birla

New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said the presiding officers do not have any switch or remote control to turn off the microphones of members raising issues in the House.

Birla took strong objection to members casting aspersions on the Chair by alleging that when they rise to speak in the House, their microphones are turned off by the presiding officers.
The allegation of the Chair turning the microphone off was a matter of utmost concern, the Speaker said, adding that he wanted the House to deliberate on the issue.
“The Chair only gives ruling/directives. The member whose name is called gets to speak in the House. The mic is controlled as per the directives of the Chair. The person sitting in the Chair does not have a remote control or a switch for the microphones,” he said.

Birla said the members of all political parties have representation on the panel of chairpersons who preside over the proceedings in the absence of the Speaker.

“This is a matter of the dignity of the Chair. At least those who occupy the Chair should not raise such objections. (K) Suresh also occupies the Chair. Does the Chair have control of the mic,” the Speaker said, addressing the Congress veteran.

Last week, Leader of the Opposition Rahul Gandhi claimed that his microphone was switched off as he tried to raise the issue of NEET irregularities.

“I don’t have any button to switch off the microphone. There existed a similar set-up earlier. There is no mechanism to gag the microphone,” Birla said on Friday.


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