Dispense with Question Hour, says Rajya Sabha Chairman

Hamid Ansari

Anguished by frequent disruptions of Question Hour, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Tuesday said this segment of proceedings should be "dispensed with" or shifted to some other part of the day.

"A situation has arisen" in which the Chair has to "watch helplessly" disruption of the Question Hour, he said as Opposition members created uproar over the issue of reported lobbying by Walmart and quota in promotion in government jobs.

Ansari said he proposes to call meeting of the Rules Committee and suggest shifting the Question Hour or dispense with it all together.

"I propose two options...Question Hour should be moved to other part of day...Two, members do not seem to attach much importance to questions answered, the Question Hour should be dispensed with all together," he said.

Ansari stated this in an agitated tone while adjourning the House for half an hour at 11.05 am , five minutes after it met for the day.

When the House reassembled, BJP member M Venkaiah Naidu insisted on suspension of Question Hour to discuss Walmart issue.

Ansari, however, said the issue could be taken up at noon, but BSP refused to budge.

Ansari had earlier also undertaken an experiment in March 2011 of shifting Question Hour to 2 pm from 11 am, the traditional slot. The reason for shifting was again persistent disruptions. However, it had to shifted back after demand by members.

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