New Delhi: As Railway Minister Mamata
Banerjee came under attack from Opposition over her absence
from Lok Sabha during a discussion, Speaker Meira Kumar said
since the Cabinet is collectively responsible, the task of a
minister not present can be carried out by his colleagues.
"Since it is the collective responsibility of the
Cabinet, some other minister or the Minister of State can
fulfill the responsibility (of the minister not present in the
House) during Question Hour or when required," Kumar told
reporters outside Parliament House.
The Railway Minister was not present in the House during
discussion on motormen`s strike in Mumbai as she is in Kolkata
in connection with municipal polls.
She said if it is urgent, ministers do not attend the
proceedings. "Out of courtesy, they inform us before leaving,"
When asked whether Banerjee had informed her before
leaving for Kolkata, she said "she always does."
To a poser on the behaviour of Trinamool Congress` Sudip
Bandopadhyay in the Lok Sabha, the Speaker said the member had
"expressed regret" over his behaviour.
"By nature, he is not like that. I have seen him in the
House all these days," she said.
To a question on frequent disruption of the Question Hour
and her plans to shift it in the evening, Kumar said she had
"various ideas in my mind to try to improve (the system)."
"A consensus is required among members of various
political parties," she said refusing to elaborate.
Kumar said members have informed her that they are not
against the Question Hour as such.