Modi to meet CMs on Planning panel revamp

Prime Minister makes announcement during a surprise intervention during Question Hour in the Lok Sabha amid continuing criticism over his absence from Parliament.

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:36 pm IST

Published - December 05, 2014 03:24 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Lok Sabha on Friday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has convened a meeting of all Chief Ministers on Sunday to elicit their views on the restructuring of Planning Commission. This information was provided to the Lok Sabha by Mr. Modi himself during Question Hour on Friday in a surprise intervention made in the wake of continuing criticism over his absence from Parliament.

According to Mr. Modi, there have been a lot of deliberations within the Commission itself on making the institution more in tune with the changing requirements of the nation. “We are just taking this forward,” he said; adding that a large number of experts were being consulted in the process.

He made this intervention to a question listed by Vincent H. Pala (Congress) and Saugata Roy (Trinamool Congress). Both members were not present to raise the question as they had boycotted proceedings over the continuation of Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti in the Ministry, but Speaker Sumitra Mahajan allowed the Minister concerned to table the written reply.

Taking the House by surprise, Mr. Modi said he would like to reply and went on to make what was his first intervention in Question Hour in the Lok Sabha. The Prime Minister has been under attack inside and outside Parliament all week for ignoring the central legislature. The Opposition has nicknamed him “NRI PM” and said he has addressed more parliaments overseas than the Indian Parliament.

Later, intervening during Zero Hour with a fresh appeal to the Opposition to return to the House, Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu underscored the fact that the Prime Minister had not only sought truce but also replied to a question.

This was the second Question Hour in the Lok Sabha that Mr. Modi attended this week; the first instance being on Wednesday. However, he did not reply to any question or address the House on the controversial remarks of the Minister. His first official comment on the issue was made on Thursday in the Rajya Sabha where the government is in a minority. This led to criticism of him ignoring the Opposition in the Lok Sabha because it was both weak and fragmented.

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