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Rediff.com  » News » Sonia to take Monday's absentee MPs to task

Sonia to take Monday's absentee MPs to task

December 01, 2009 14:25 IST

A day after proceedings in the Lok Sabha collapsed due to absence of as many as 34 members who had listed questions, the Congress on Tuesday said it had taken serious note of the issue and the Chief Whip of the party will ask members about it.

"We have taken a serious note (of the issue) and we would talk to the Members of Parliament," a party leader said.

"The Chief Whip will ask about it," said All India Congress Committee secretary Rajeev Shukla told reporters outside Parliament House.

Asked about the response of the party on party MPs being absent from the Question Hour, he said members who have asked questions should be present.

He parried questions whether party chief Sonia Gandhi had expressed displeasure over MPs being absent from the Question Hour.

Shukla, however, added that the party had a roster system for the pre and post lunch sessions.

In the Lok Sabha on Monday, 17 questions, including 15 in a row, could not be taken up during Question Hour in which a total of 20 questions are listed for answers from the ministers on the floor of the House.

Of the 34 MPs absent, seven were from the Congress.

An exasperated Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal had on Monday questioned the relevance of the Question Hour if the MPs were going to remain absent.

Party sources maintain that their president Sonia Gandhi, who is also the Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson, has time and again expressed concern about the absence of MPs in the Parliament and asked them to participate in the deliberations.

Lok Sabha's Question Hour had collapsed on Monday for the first time in two decades, prompting Speaker Meira Kumar to express concern.

The Lower House had created a record of sorts with as many as 34 members, who had listed questions, remaining absent, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House within 30 minutes of its assembling.

Last time, Lok Sabha's Question Hour had collapsed in 1991. Similar developments had happened twice in 1983, five times in 1985, three times in 1988 and twice in 1989,

Parliament sources said.

They said it requires Rs 14 lakh to run the Lok Sabha for an hour and the government has to prepare hard to face the members.
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