An analysis of parliamentary questions raised by Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh (India) State Legislative Assembly

Ojha, Suman & Mishra, Sanjay K. (2010) An analysis of parliamentary questions raised by Opposition in the Uttar Pradesh (India) State Legislative Assembly. Australasian Parliamentary Review, 25(1), pp. 94-107.

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The use of parliamentary questions is the most popular and visible tool in the hands of the Opposition as a means to make government accountable. Their main purpose is to seek information or press for action. Contemporary parliamentary literature from the UK, Canada, and Australia, however, suggests that parliamentary questions have lost their effectiveness. The literature points out that Question Time in parliaments has become a battle ground between Ruling and Opposition parties in their fight to gain maximum political advantage. In this context, the effectiveness of parliamentary questions in the Indian state legislatures has not been investigated. The aim of this study, therefore, is to analyse the use, purpose and effectiveness of parliamentary questions in the State Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh (India) to explore differences, if any, between Ruling and Opposition parties.

In this study, 4023 parliamentary questions asked in the Uttar Pradesh State Legislative Assembly were analysed. The effectiveness of answers was also analysed qualitatively. The results show that half of the total members of the Assembly used this device, out of which 60% of the questions were asked by the Opposition party members. 31% of the questions from the Opposition were seeking information and 69% were pressing for action. The government provided the required information in 96% of the questions in the former category and took action in only 35% of the latter category. Furthermore, 60% of the questions raised by the Opposition were related to constituency matters and the remaining 40% were related to policy issues or public welfare. Comparing the data with the ruling party, the results indicate that the use,purpose and effectiveness of parliamentary questions were similar to that of the Opposition except some minor differences. Surprisingly, there was no evidence of any ‘Dorothy Dix’ questions. The study concludes parliamentary question is an effective device in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

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ID Code: 39780
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: parliamentary questions, Uttar Pradesh, opposition
ISSN: 1447-9125
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > POLITICAL SCIENCE (160600) > Government and Politics of Asia and the Pacific (160606)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Past > Schools > School of Engineering Systems
Copyright Owner: © 2010 Australasian Study of Parliament Group
Deposited On: 01 Feb 2011 01:34
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 14:29

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