NEW DELHI: Rajya Sabha, which has been prone to frequent disruptions by the opposition under the current dispensation, set a record of sorts on Tuesday by completing all Zero Hour submissions and special mentions as well as starred questions listed for the day. It was after 15 long years that the Upper House took up all the 15 listed starred questions, besides 18 Members speaking on various issues during Zero Hour and Special Mentions during the pre-lunch session.
This was in sharp contrast to the noisy start to the session. Giving credit to the House, Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu sought to remind the members of his observation soon after taking over that his “operation” (as Rajya Sabha chairman) would depend on their “cooperation”. “Since your cooperation (today) was good, my operation was very smooth…I hope in future also if we are able to take up our legislative business regularly. Without wasting time and sticking to the schedule, we will be able to give opportunity to some more people also,” said Naidu.
Later, the Question Hour too saw all questions, supplementaries and ministers’ replies completed within the scheduled time. While mentioning this before the House broke for lunch, Naidu did point out that 5-6 members who had submitted questions for Tuesday were not present in the House. He reminded the MPs that much effort goes into preparing replies to their questions and that they “should keep this in mind”.
It was in 2002 last that all the listed starred questions were taken up during the Question Hour. Incidentally, 10 of the 20 members in whose names questions were listed, were absent from the House. Normally, 4-5 questions on the top of the list are taken up in the House, resulting in the tendency of members whose questions get listed beyond to choose not to be present in the House.
Naidu, who took over as vice-president of India and deputy chairman of Rajya Sabha in August, has been conducting proceedings of the House, offering his observations from time to time on the issues raised by the members. He can regularly be heard urging members and ministers alike to be brief and to-the-point while asking/replying to questions.
Source : timesofindia