Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari unhappy as MPs go missing during Question Hour

Three Union ministers went missing in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour on Monday, prompting Chairman Hamid Ansari to express his anguish.

PTI March 20, 2017 18:58:53 IST
Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari unhappy as MPs go missing during Question Hour

An unusual situation emerged in the Rajya Sabha during the Question Hour on Monday when three Union ministers, to whom queries had been put were absent, prompting Chairman Hamid Ansari to express anguish and drawing taunts from the Opposition.

A few minutes before the Question Hour was to end, Union minister Sanjeev Balyan answered questions relating to the Water Resources Ministry and Chairman Ansari moved to the next question.

Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari unhappy as MPs go missing during Question Hour

File image of Chairman of Rajya Sabha and Vice-President of India Hamid Ansari. PTI

The questioner had sought to know from the ministry of shipping whether the government was launching a Yamuna Water Taxi Project.

However, neither the member who had asked the question, nor the minister who was to answer it were present, provoking Ansari to remark that this was an "extraordinary situation".

As Ansari took up the next question, relating to the environment ministry, there was again no one from the ruling side to answer it.

"This is the shape of the things to come," came a remark from the Opposition benches as Congress leader Jairam Ramesh complained that there was not even a single Cabinet minister present in the House. Only ministers of state Nirmala Sitharaman, Ram Kirpal Yadav and Balyan were seen.

Ansari then moved to the next question relating to the ministry of power, but this too could not be taken up as the concerned minister was not present to answer it.

"This is not a happy state of affairs," the Rajya Sabha Chairman said, expressing his annoyance. "This is an example of 'maximum ministers, minimum governance'," said an opposition member taking a jibe at the government.

Yadav, however, tabled the answer to the next question and was ready to answer the supplementary, but by this time the Question Hour had ended.

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