Updated: March 3, 2020 12:23:29 am
Raising doubts over the manner in which the legislators’ questions were selected by the Speaker for discussion in Vidhan Sabha, senior Congress leader Kiran Choudhry Monday claimed that it looked as if the questions are not being selected by way of draw of lots but are picked up arbitrarily.
The questions, categorised as Starred and Unstarred, are chosen by draw of lots.
Choudhry raised the doubt after questions of five Congress legislators — Geeta Bhukkal, Jagbir Singh Malik, Chiranjeev Rao, Aftab Ahmed and Ishwar Singh — all pertaining to deteriorating law and order situation in the state, were clubbed.
During the Question Hour, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta informed the House that questions raised by the five Congress MLAs had been clubbed. Speaker also asked Geeta Bhukkal to speak and added that he will allow four supplementary questions on it, resulting in objections from the Opposition led by Choudhry who demanded a clarity on the procedure adopted for selection of questions to be discussed during the Question Hour.
“I would first like you to clarify, how did you club these questions? Because you had been saying that the questions are being selected by way of draw of lots,” Choudhry said. Other Congress members too joined her.
As the proceedings of the Question Hour got interrupted, Speaker told the Opposition that the draw of lots system is followed for selection of questions submitted by the members. He added, “Everything was videographed. Even your party’s representatives were present when the questions were selected. And, since all these questions were of the same nature and it was an important subject to be discussed, thus all these were clubbed”.
The treasury benches came out in Speaker’s support. However, the Opposition, dissatisfied with Speaker’s reply, alleged that many of their questions were not included. “How could five questions of the same subject come up in the draw of lots? This means that the questions are not being selected by way of draw of lots and are chosen arbitrarily,” Choudhry said.
Another Congress MLA Dharam Singh Chhoker, stood up and said, “I had submitted so many questions. Not even a single question has been selected so far”.
His party colleague from Gohana, Jagbir Singh Malik joined Choudhry and asked the Speaker “under which ruling were the questions clubbed?”.
The Speaker, however, again explained the procedure of selection of questions and reiterated his stand. “In case any member of the House had any objections or doubts about the manner in which questions were selected, they can visit my chamber and I will show you the video of the entire procedure,” he added.
The Speaker even added that in case the opposition feels that the practice of selecting questions by way of draw of lots be discontinued then he will do that. “Then do not blame me later,” he added.
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