Shah Slams BJP MPs for House Absence
He says all those absent during passage of amendment Bill on backward classes need to give reasons
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.