A day after proceedings collapsed in Parliament during Question Hour because of absent MPs, Congress president Sonia Gandhi sought to crack the whip on truant party members on Tuesday, demanding a list of those who were missing.
“The unprecedented lapse is being examined and the Congress is determined to ensure that such things are not repeated,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
The opposition BJP took a more lenient view. “Mondays are bad days for attendance as MPs are often delayed by late flights or train arrivals,” said Sushma Swaraj, the party’s deputy leader in the Lok Sabha. “Twenty questions may be listed for answers each day, but usually no more than six or seven are taken up.”
Monday’s embarrassment did not have much impact on MPs. On Tuesday, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar announced the names of 14 MPs during Question Hour, but only eight were present.
According to official estimates the cost of collecting and compiling an answer to one parliamentary question is Rs 1 lakh.
The last occasion when the Lok Sabha collapsed due to lack of attendance during Question Hour was in 1991.