Lok Sabha has no plans to shift timing of Question Hour: Speaker

Lok Sabha has no plans to shift the timing of the Question Hour, as planned by Rajya Sabha from the Winter Session beginning Monday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Saturday night.

New Delhi: Lok Sabha has no plans to shift the timing of the Question Hour, as planned by Rajya Sabha from the Winter Session beginning Monday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said on Saturday night.

The Speaker said that none of the leaders at the all-party meeting expressed any divergent views to her stand that the timing of the Question Hour -- which commences at 11 AM -- should not be changed.

Mahajan said starting the day with Zero Hour which often witnesses uproar could better be avoided, suggesting it was not a good beginning to the day's proceedings.

Notwithstanding reservations by some parties, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari has decided to go ahead with shifting the timing of the Question Hour from 11 AM to 12 PM from the upcoming Session in an apparent move to ensure disruption-free proceedings during this segment.

Mahajan said that all political parties assured her of their cooperation in the smooth functioning of Parliament in the Winter session.

The dinner meeting was attended by representatives of 18 political parties, including Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu, LJP's Ram Vilas Paswan among others.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined the meeting.

Representatives from the Left, SP, Shiv Sena, Trinamool Congress were not present due to prior commitments, she said.

The month-long Session will have a total of 22 sittings in which four days have been earmarked for Private Members' business.

A total of 67 bills -- 59 in Rajya Sabha and eight in Lok Sabha -- are pending and the government will push for passage of "at least 30 to 35" legislations, a senior minister said.

This will be the second major session since the Narendra Modi Government took over in May.

Congress has attacked the Prime Minister on Cabinet expansion accusing him of including "tainted" ministers in the government contrary to his election promise of "cleaning up" Parliament of criminals, a charge vehemently countered by the government and the BJP.

Indications are that Congress would raise the issue in a big way in the Session to put the government on the backfoot.

Government has already declared that it would go ahead with reform legislations like insurance bill in the Winter Session.

"We are determined to go ahead. Merely because someone has an agenda only to obstruct is not going to deter us," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said.

Naidu has convened a meeting of leaders of all parties tomorrow.


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