Opposition parties on Friday staged a 10-minute protest in the Rajya Sabha over the absence of Chemicals and Fertiliser Minister M.K. Alagiri, a day after the matter was raised in the Lok Sabha.
AIADMK member V. Maitreyan asked Chairman Hamid Ansari whether DMK leader Alagiri, who is abroad, had sought the House’s permission before absenting himself.
Maitreyan said, “I would like to know whether a minister (not mentioning Alagiri’s name) who is normally absent from the House and is currently abroad has taken the Chair’s permission before proceeding on leave.”
While the Opposition members harped on the issue despite the Chair’s pleas to allow the Question Hour to proceed, Congress MPs such as Rajiv Shukla and Santosh Bagrodia pointed out that minister of state Srikant Jena was already replying to the question.
Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley pointed out that “week after week the Opposition has been raising this issue. All ministers are accountable to Parliament. However, in this case, are we accepting the position that one minister is not accountable to Parliament. If this is the case, then we can proceed with Question Hour.”
To this, Ansari said, “This is a wider issue, which needs to be discussed, but not during Question Hour.”