Absence of members halts discussion in Lok Sabha

April 28th, 2008 - 5:08 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) The discussion on the Finance Bill, 2008 in the Lok Sabha Monday came to a grinding halt for want of quorum which mandates the presence of at least 10 percent of the existing strength of the house to conduct legislative business. Brajesh Pathak of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Dharmendra Pradhan of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised the issue at around 12.50 p.m. when Nikhil Kumar of the Congress was deliberating on the finance bill.

“There cannot be any discussion for want of quorum,” Pathak raised the issue much to the embarrassment of the treasury benches where only five members were present excluding Finance Minister P. Chidamabaram, and his ministerial colleagues Pawan Kumar Bansal and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh.

One-tenth of the total number of members constitutes the quorum for a meeting of the house and there were less than 45 members present when Pathak and Pradhan raised the issue.

V. Radhakrishanan, who was presiding, immediately stopped the discussion and the quorum bell was set ringing to summon the members. He also took a dig at Pathak and Pradhan for not being present in the house when the discussion started.

“You have come only to point out the lack of quorum in the house,” Radhakrishanan quipped.

Given the sensitivity of the matter, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee rushed back to the house from his chamber only to be relieved to see the quorum getting fulfilled.

“There are certain laid down norms and must be complied with,” the speaker said.

Chatterjee had left the house only minutes previously after conducting the Zero Hour when some of the members raised issues of urgent public importance. He finally adjourned the house for lunch at 1 p.m.

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