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Won't quit Congress, says Meira Kumar

Source: PTI
June 16, 2009 12:13 IST
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Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has ruled out her resignation from Congress as suggested by her predecessor Somnath Chatterjee.
"There is no convention that the Speaker should resign from the primary membership of his or her party. I will function with the same impartiality towards Congress and the other parties in the Lok Sabha," she said during her maiden visit to her constituency Sasaram after assuming office.
"I will not be partisan...I am committed to maintaining the glory attached to the constitutional post," she said.
Chatterjee had made the suggestion during an interview to a private TV channel on Monday, saying political affiliation should not lead to conflict of interest.
"It is better if a person occupying the Speaker's post resigns from his or her party post during the tenure so that there is no conflict of interest," he had said.
Kumar, the country's first woman Speaker, hoped that the Women's Reservation Bill would be unanimously passed in the 15th Lok Sabha as all political parties are serious about it. "The bill could not be passed despite it being tabled thrice in the house during 11th, 12th and 13th Lok Sabha," she said. 
Chatterjee, however, had clarified that he had not given any advice to Kumar to resign from Congress.He had only spoken of the need for convention for the incumbent to quit to avoid any "unhappy experience". In a letter to Kumar, the former Speaker said he was "greatly upset" over reports that he had suggested her to resign from the party while holding the Speaker's post so that political affiliation should not lead to a "conflict of interest".
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