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MPs can now wear Tricolour to Lok Sabha
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 18
In a pleasant and much-awaited change of mind, the Lok Sabha today decided to allow Members of Parliament to wear the Tricolour to the House.

Amending the long-standing rules of procedure of the Lower House that prohibited the members from wearing badges of any kind to the House, the Rules Committee of the Lok Sabha today made a vital exception to the norm to honour the National Flag.

The altered rule number 349 reads, “MPs shall not wear any badges to the Lok Sabha, except in the form of the Tricolour as a lapel pin”. The change comes, courtesy Kurukshetra MP Naveen Jindal, who made a proposal to this effect to the committee.

Meeting for the first time since the 15th Lok Sabha commenced, the rules committee further moved to ensure the sanctity of Question Hour that stood wrecked during the last session when several MPs absented themselves on November 30, forcing the adjournment of the hour 30 minutes before schedule.

Following the Rajya Sabha that amended the Question Hour rules on December 15 last, the Lower House’s rules panel agreed that all listed questions must be answered on the given day whether the questioning MP is present or not. This would end scandals like “cash for query” where MPs take money to abstain and allow the question to be passed over.

Amending Rule 48 (3), the panel, chaired by Speaker Meira Kumar, introduced the following amendment: “From now on, if, on being called out, a question is not put or the member in whose name it stands is absent, the Speaker may direct that the answer to it be given”.

Three members will be allowed to pose supplementaries also. The change will prevent the kind of embarrassment suffered in the last session when Question Hour was thwarted after 31 out of 38 MPs, supposed to ask questions, absented themselves. The amendment will also ensure ministers’ accountability to the people. The committee also decided to lower the limit of days required to give notice for asking a question. Earlier, an MP had to give a notice of not less than 10 days and not more than 21 days before asking a question. The limit has been standardised at 15 days to ensure uniformity and prevent loss of time.



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