Suggestions welcome to prevent question hour loss: Bansal


New Delhi : The government will respond positively to suggestions from presiding officers of the two houses to prevent loss of time during question hour, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said Wednesday.

Support TwoCircles

Bansal, who addressed mediapersons a day after the monsoon session of parliament concluded, said that the two houses can sit late to make up for time lost on account of disruptions but the loss of question hour cannot be made up.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari Tuesday said that shifting the question hour to a time later in the day from 11 a.m. was an option that could be considered by the members.

Bansal said the government feels that the present system was fine but was open to any suggestions of the two presiding officers.

He said the government wished that the Lok Sabha speaker and the Rajya Sabha chairman succeeded in their efforts to make question hour more productive.

He rejected the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) accusation of poor floor management on several occasions in the two houses, and said that the main opposition had taken a u-turn in the house from its position outside the house.

“They have taken u-turns. I leave it to them to decide if it was bad floor management,” Bansal said.

The minister expressed “satisfaction” over the work done during the session. He said 21 bills were passed by the Lok Sabha and 24 by the Rajya Sabha besides discussions were held on several issues.

He rejected suggestions that there were differences within the ruling party on some bills, saying that the party members had never said that they had opposed a bill while articulating their views.

“Congress was not a divided house,” he said.

Answering queries on the mock parliament in which many members took part, Bansal said it was the “most unfortunate event in the annals of parliamentary history”.

He said never before had senior members taken it upon themselves to preside over the house and take up different roles.

“I wish an incident like that had not cast a slur on fair name of democracy,” he said.