The Rajya Sabha on Tuesday set a record after 15 years by taking up all the 15 listed starred questions during the Question Hour, while 18 members spoke on issues of public importance during the Zero Hour.
The last time all listed starred questions were taken up was in 2002 during the 197th Session of the Upper House, officials in the Rajya Sabha secretariat said.
The completion of business is in contrast to the uproarious scenes and adjournments witnessed on several occasions during the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
This was also made possible as 10 of 20 members in who had listed questions were absent from the House, but the Chairman allowed many members to ask supplementary questions. At the end of Question Hour, Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said, “So, all questions are completed today.” Earlier, when a number of members asking questions were found absent, he said “Something special is happening!”. On seeing many members absent during Question Hour, the chairman also said that surprisingly, five or six members who had questions listed against their names did not turn up.
“They have the liberty. I don’t question them. At the same time, we have a responsibility. If you file a question, so much time, energy and resources are spent. Not coming to the House is not a good practice. Keep that in mind,” he said. When some members complimented the Chairman for smooth conduct of business, Naidu returned the compliment saying, “Your cooperation is good, so my operation was very smooth… that’s why the House was able to set this record.”
“The Rajya Sabha today made history. For the first time, all Zero Hour submissions, all Special Mentions were fully completed,” said Naidu amid thumping of desks by members in the House of Elders. The Chairman expressed hope that in future too, the members would not waste time and stick to the schedule.
As many as 11 members were allowed to speak on issues of public importance during Zero Hour, while another eight were allowed to read out the text of their special