Showing displeasure at Members of Parliament who had not asked a single question in their five-year tenure in the 14th Lok Sabha, Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Wednesday said those who voted for these MPs did not want “silent members”.
However, the Speaker said nobody could compel the MPs to ask questions. “How can you compel them to speak?” he said.
The 15th and last session of the current Lok Sabha comes to an end on Thursday. Barring a few regulars, who attend the House religiously and also participate in the proceedings, there is a sizable number which has remained largely apathetic to the proceedings.
At least 51 members of the 14th Lok Sabha did not ask a single question — the list includes Leader of Opposition LK Advani and Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
Of the total of 85,606 questions asked in the Lok Sabha, other prominent leaders who did asked any question are Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mamta Banerjee, HD Deve Gowda, Ajit Singh, Govinda, Dharmendra, Kalyan Singh and Jagdish Tytler.
However, during the 14th Lok Sabha, Advani participated in 71 debates, 8 special mentions and four government Bills. Likewise, Sonia participated in four debates and one government Bill.
Dharmendra neither asked questions nor participated in debates. Govinda once raised the issue of the problems faced by slum-dwellers in North Mumbai.