Are railways losing their importance?

March 13th, 2008 - 9:35 pm ICT by admin  

(From the Corridors of Power)

New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) Are Lok Sabha MPs more concerned about the “high flyers” than train passengers? At least Speaker Somnath Chatterjee thinks so. “I think Laluji (Railway Minister Lalu Prasad) is losing importance. More people want to know about the airlines than railway lines,” said Chatterjee when he found there was a long list of names of members who wanted to raise questions to Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel during question hour.

Lalu Prasad, seated in the front row, showed no expression even as Patel smiled.

Patel, one of the best performing ministers when it comes to question hour, appears to be a favourite of the speaker.

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‘Go and burn the rulebook before Gandhi statue’

Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee is becoming desperate. Chatterjee, who has expressed his anguish over the increasingly unruly behaviour of MPs in the house, almost lost his patience completely Thursday.

When MPs belonging to different parties were shouting for a chance to raise the matter during zero hour, Chatterjee reminded them there were some procedures.

“You have to give a notice in advance to raise a matter of public importance,” he told them, adding that many of them were not bothered to take that trouble.

“You do not know what the rules are. You go and burn the rule book in front of the Gandhi statue (across the main entrance of Parliament House building).

Stunned MPs immediately took their seats.

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VIP visitor fails to turn up

Rahul Gandhi’s speech on the general budget was something Congress MPs, especially the young lot, were eagerly waiting for. They looked jubilant as their star leader performed well. But there was a commotion among the parliament security staff over it.

Apparently, Gandhi’s sister Priyanka Vadra was expected to be in parliament to listen to his speech. The security had been alerted that there would be a VIP visitor.

However, neither Priyanka nor Vadra turned up to hear Rahul’s speech.

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