In a record of sorts, proceedings in the Lok Sabha collapsed on Monday in the absence of as many as 28 members who had raised questions.
Speaker Meira Kumar was forced to adjourn the House till 1200 Hours after taking up three questions as members, who had raised the questions, were not present in the House.
Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee as also Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal were seen surprised when members belonging to various political parties, including Congress, were absent after giving notices for the questions.
The Speaker called out names of 28 members, including Varun Gandhi (BJP), Madhu Goud Yakshi, Eknath Gaikawad, Shruti Choudhary, B Jhansi Lakhsmi (all Cong), Anandrao Adsul, Shivaji Adhalrao Patil (Shiv Sena), Prabodh Panda (CPI), Rajiv Ranjan Singh (JDU) and Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM), but none of them was present.
Altogether 17 questions were not taken up for want of members.
The proceedings were taking place amid protests by members of Left parties and Samajwadi Party criticizing the government's move to send a Central team to assess the law and order situation in West Bengal.
A Central team has reached West Bengal to assess the law and order situation in the wake of persistent demands by the Trinamool Congress. The state has witnessed an upswing in Maoist violence as well as clashes between Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) workers.
Later, Speaker Meira Kumar termed as a "serious issue" the absence of several members from the House during Question Hour and said the one hour of proceedings was the "essence" of democracy.
"The absence of several members is a serious issue... I do want the Question Hour to run smoothly. There had been disruptions in the past. There were disruptions today," Kumar told reporters outside Parliament House.
When asked whether there was a need to have a 'relook' at Question Hour, she said Question Hour is the time which showed the "essence of democracy" where elected members ask questions to the executive.
"It is time now to ensure there is cooperation between members of Parliament in Lok Sabha so that there is no disruption during the Question Hour," she said.
Leader of Lok Sabha, Pranab Mukherjee and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal expressed surprise when members belonging to various political parties, including Congress, were found absent after giving notices for the questions.
Altogether 17 questions were not taken up for want of members