More than Opposition, senior Congress members are most vociferous
In the ongoing session of the Legislative Assembly, members of the Congress, curiously, have been asking more questions than the Opposition. This has been a source of embarrassment to Ministers.
It is hard to miss that senior members of the party and the former Ministers, who have not made it to the Siddaramaiah Cabinet, have been frequently asking questions and seeking clarifications from senior Ministers in the government.
In the majority
For instance, on Wednesday, out of 13 questions listed for Question Hour in the House, seven were raised by senior Congress members. Most of them related to Department for Higher Education and Tourism.
Senior Congress members such as Appaji S. Nadagouda, Tanvir Sait, N.H. Shivashankara Reddy, K.B. Koliwad, Vasanth Bangera, Shivananda S. Patil and N.A. Harris raised questions on Wednesday. Many among these were ministerial aspirants and most of them have been elected to the Assembly more than three times.
The former Speaker Ramesh Kumar has been actively participating in discussions and even questioned the government’s intentions on policy matters on several occasions. During the last three days of the session, Mr. Kumar has frequently quizzed the Chief Minister and Ministers when answers provided by them lacked clarity, often along with Opposition members.
Meanwhile, Speaker Kagodu Thimmappa has been trying to rein in members intent on delivering lengthy speeches during Question and Zero hours. He has frequently been saying: “Please ask questions, don’t give speeches.”
With this strict discipline in place, several members, unable to cut short their speeches during Zero Hour, have sought a 30-minute discussion on various issues later. For instance, the former Minister Govind M. Karjol sought a half-hour discussion on the issue of the alleged wrong portrayal of Basavanna on a film poster after raising the question during Zero Hour.
Some Ministers, unable to give answers with clarity to questions raised, have often merely promised to “examine” the matter. With the government barely two months old, some Ministers have been blaming the previous government for problems in service delivery of social welfare schemes.