The replies to questions asked in Parliament in the Rajya Sabha will be gender neutral after the issue was raised by woman MP Priyanka Chaturtvedi. The Rajya Sabha secretariat has replied that the ministries will be asked to send replies in the new format.
Priyanka Chaturvedi in her letter in August had said that the usage of the phrase ‘No Sir’ in the answers to the questions raised by women parliamentarians is wrong.
Rajya Sabha secretariat official Swarabji B, responded and said that, “I am directed to refer to your letter dated 08.08.2022 addressed to the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, on the subject cited above and to inform that as per conventions and Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Rajya Sabha, all the proceedings of the House are addressed to the Chair. Replies to the Parliamentary Questions being a part of the proceedings are also addressed to the Chairperson only.”
“However, the Ministries will be informed to furnish gender neutral replies to the Parliamentary Questions from the next session of Rajya Sabha onwards,” he added.
Chaturvedi in her letter had urged Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi that, “Our Constitution is based on the principle of equality. I request you to kindly look into this practice and issue appropriate directions to address the concerned parliamentarian as per their respective gender only. Although this may seem like a small change, but it will go a long way in giving women their due representation in the parliamentary process.”