Shah Slams BJP MPs for House Ab­sence

He says all those ab­sent dur­ing pas­sage of amend­ment Bill on back­ward classes need to give rea­sons

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - RakeshMo­han.Chaturvedi @times­

New Delhi: Per­turbed at the em­bar­rass­ment suf­fered by the gov­ern­ment af­ter a united op­po­si­tion en­sured the pas­sage of amend­ments to a Con­sti­tu­tion Amend­ment bill, BJP chief Amit Shah came down heav­ily on those Union min­is­ters and party MPs from Ra­jya Sabha, who were not present when the Bill was put to vote on Mon­day. Shah, who BJP sources said has been fu­ri­ous about this de­vel­op­ment since Mon­day evening, used the weekly par­lia­men­tary party meet­ing on Tues­day morn­ing to slam the er­ring min­is­ters and MPs. He said that this em­bar­rass­ment has come close on the heels of the cast­ing of 21 inva- lid votes in the Pres­i­den­tial elec­tions. He re­gret­ted that some BJP MPs could not even cast valid vote.

Shah said all those who were not present when the Con­sti­tu­tion (123rd Amend­ment) Bill, 2017, which seeks to give con­sti­tu­tional sta­tus to Na­tional Com­mis­sion for Back­ward Castes on the lines of SC and the ST Com­mis­sion, was put to vote would have to ex­plain to the party the rea­son for their ab­sence. He an­nounced that he would form a party panel for this pur­pose where the 28 BJP Ra­jya Sabha MPs will have to de­pose. He will at­tend some of these sit­tings de­pend­ing on his avail­abil­ity. PM Naren­dra Modi skipped the par­lia­men­tary party meet­ing as he left for As­sam for an aerial visit to the flood-hit ar­eas.

The BJP chief told party MPs that they should re­alise that the queue of


those who wish to take their place is very long and they have been cho­sen by the party above sev­eral other as­pi­rants for a berth in Ra­jya Sabha or in the Union Coun­cil of Min­is­ters.

“You were sent to Par­lia­ment to de­liver and per­form. You all were spe­cially se­lected for this and I urge you to per­form. It is not ac­cept­able that you all be ab­sent when a three linewhip has been is­sued,” a BJP MP said, quot­ing Shah. Shah also lamented that the MPs were not in at­ten­dance de­spite Modi him­self hav­ing urged them in the last par­lia­men­tary party meet­ing to be present in the House when an im­por­tant Bill or mat­ter is be­ing dis­cussed. Modi’s re­marks had come in the wake of lack of quo­rum in Ra­jya Sabha on July 21 when a Bill was to be dis­cussed. The Op­po­si­tion had forced ad­journ­ment of the House.

Min­is­ter of state for par­lia­men­tary af­fairs S S Ah­luwalia was asked to make a presentation for BJP MPs on a host of Par­lia­men­tary rules, sig­nif­i­cance of Con­sti­tu­tion amend­ment bill as well as the role of var­i­ous bod­ies and posts. Shah has asked all BJP MPs to be present and vote cor­rectly dur­ing the vice-pres­i­den­tial elec­tions on Au­gust 5. A mes­sage was sent to mo­biles of these BJP MPs around Mon­day noon seek­ing their pres­ence.

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