Leaders assure Ansari Question Hour won’t be disrupted

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PTINew Delhi, August 19; In view of frequent disruptions of Parliament, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Monday met leaders of various parties who promised to allow legislative business during the remaining part of the Monsoon Session.

At the meeting, the representatives gave Mr.Ansari an assurance that Question Hour will not be henceforth disrupted as he said Zero Hour will now be held everyday to allow members to raise issues of importance.

Unlike Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha has Zero Hour on alternate days.

Mr. Ansari called the meeting to discuss how the House could function smoothly as it has been witnessing disruptions on account of various issues almost everyday since the beginning of the Monsoon Session on August 5.

Sources said the representatives of various parties assured the Chairman that the Question Hour will function normally and will hence not be shifted.

Mr. Ansari allowed members to raise matters of public importance during Zero Hour immediately after Question Hour.

Sources close to the Chairman said the new system will be exercised on an experimental basis till the remaining period of the current session and in case of violations, another all-party meeting will be convened.

They said at the meeting the issue of “anarchist” remarks by Mr. Ansari also came up and the parties left it to the Chairman to consider the Opposition demand for withdrawal of the comments made by him earlier.

Apparently exasperated over frequent disruptions, Mr. Ansari had called the all-party meet to discuss possible changes in rules for smooth running of House.

Among those present included BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena), Brajesh Pathak (BSP), V Maitreyan (AIADMK), Kanimozhi (DMK), Y S Chowdary (TDP) and Naresh Gujral (SAD).

The meeting came close on the heels of Mr. Ansari’s observation last week calling for reviewing procedures of the House.

He had said that he planned to convene as early as possible a meeting of leaders to have “frank practical” discussion on rules needed to be amended, if they need to be amended, for smooth running of the House.

He had last week wondered whether members wish the House to become a “federation of anarchists“.

At that time, Mr. Ansari had said, “Every single rule in the rule book, every single etiquette is being violated… If the Hon’ble members wish the House to become a federation of anarchists, then it is a different matter.”

The remark had drawn flak from members.

Mr. Ansari had later clarified his comments and agreed to review them.

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