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When PM Narendra Modi’s question went unanswered in the Lok Sabha

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi is the leader of the Lok Sabha by virtue of being the leader of BJP Legislators in the house. The Union Cabinet (including the PM) is supposed to answer questions raised by various members of the house. Ministers answer questions relating to their department.

It is very rare that the leader of a house asks a question. For eg., Dr. Manmohan Singh was the leader of the Rajya Sabha when he was the Prime Minister of the country from 2004 to 2014. He never asked a question during that time. His last question in the Rajya Sabha was in December 2003, when he was part of the opposition benches.

Hence it is interesting to note that Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked an unstarred* question in the Lok Sabha on 11th August, 2014. According to the Lok Sabha Records, he asked a question to the Union Ministry of Law & Justice regarding inclusion of parents name in documents. His question included the following,

(*An Unstarred Question is one which does not get an oral answer in the House and on which no supplementary questions can consequently be asked. To such a question, a written answer is deemed to have been laid on the Table after the Question Hour by the Minister to whom it is addressed. It is printed in the official report of the sitting of the House for which it is put down)

(a) Whether it is mandatory to write the name of the father while writing the full name of an individual in Government documents;

(b) if so, the details thereof and state the provision of relevant law;

(c) Whether an individual can write the name of his /her mother, instead of father, in Government document;

(d) if so, the details there of and if not, the reasons there for along with the provision of law;

(e) Whether the Government proposes to enact/amend relevant law to enable the citizens to write the name of the mother or father, as per the wish of an individual; and

(f) if so, the details thereof and the time by which it is likely to be amended.?

narendra modi lok sabha question unstarred

Interestingly, another member of the house also asked a similar question. Prime Minister Modi was joined by Trinamool Congress MP, Saumitra Khan from Bishnupur in West Bengal.

As irony would have it, the question asked by the leader of the house remains unanswered till date according to the Lok Sabha website. The then Union Minister of Law & Justice said “The information is being collected and will be laid on the Table of the House”. And it seems the information is still being collected.

Source: Lok Sabha Unstarred question No 4604.

Update (28th February, 2015): After we highlighted this, the Lok Sabha website has changed the name of the member associated with this question. Now the website shows the name of Advocate Narendra Keshav Sawaikar, a BJP MP from South Goa. Whether this is a technical glitch or a cover up is something we do not know.

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