HindustanTimes Sat,20 Sep 2014

Ministers’ absence forces Speaker to adjourn LS

Saubhadra Chatterji, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 14, 2014
First Published: 00:45 IST(14/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:47 IST(14/8/2014)

The embarrassment over absence of ministers in the Lok Sabha refuses to leave Narendra Modi-led NDA government. On Wednesday, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan took the rare step of adjourning the House for half an hour.

When the discussion on tackling communal violence started in the Lok Sabha, neither the cabinet minister for home affairs, Rajnath Singh, nor his junior minister, Kiren Rijiju, were present in the House.

Mallikarjun Kharge, who initiated the debate, refused to speak on the subject in the absence of any minister, leaving Mahajan with no other option but to adjourn the House temporarily.

When the proceedings resumed, both the ministers were finally present in the Lok Sabha.

This is the second such incident during the budget session when ministers could not be seen in the House during debates related to their ministries.

On July 11, when the debate on railway budget started, neither rail minister Sadananda Gowda nor his deputy Manoj Sinha were present in Lok Sabha.

Later, they rushed to the House and apologised for the absence.

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