Few MPs attend Lok Sabha budget discussion

February 20th, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) Few MPs attended the Lok Sabha Friday when the house discussed the government’s interim budget for 2009-10.
Law Minister Hansraj Bharadwaj and Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal were the only ministers at 4 p.m. for the discussion that had begun earlier in the day.

Only two of the 12 MPs in the house then in the house were from the opposition. The number dropped to eight within 10 minutes, before touching double digit again.

Shortly after 4, Devendra Prasad Yadav, who was in the chair, said: “I have to go for an urgent work. No member in the panel of chairmen is available. So I request C.K. Chandrappan (CPI) to chair the proceedings.”

Chandrappan later told IANS that the attendance had been poor since the start of the debate, perhaps because many MPs may have left Delhi due to the weekend and the Monday Shivratri holiday.

Telugu Desam Party parliamentary party leader Yerran Naidu entered the house at 4.15 p.m. but left almost immediately after seeing the near empty treasury and opposition benches.

It was only at 4.50 p.m. when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi walked in.

Communist Party of India-Marxist MP Suresh Kurup entered at 5.10 p.m. but left after around 30 minutes.

External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee reached the house at 5.30 p.m., preceded by Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

The number of Bharatiya Janata Party MPs also rose to six. There were just 20 MPs when the house adjourned at 6.38 p.m.

Earlier, on Feb 13, the Lok Sabha was adjourned over two hours ahead of the scheduled time due to lack of quorum.

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