Amit Shah unhappy with party MPs for bunking Rajya Sabha

Absence allowed Oppn agenda to be pushed through, Shah asked lawmakers not to repeat this ever.

New Delhi: BJP chief Amit Shah is unhappy with his party MPs bunking the Rajya Sabha session on Monday, allowing the Opposition to affect crucial changes to the backward classes bill.

Union Minister Ananth Kumar said Shah took a strict view of the absence and asked lawmakers not to repeat this ever.

Shah told lawmakers at the BJP’s weekly meeting of Parliamentarians on Tuesday morning: “This is not a good thing as people have elected MPs to represent them in the House. It sends a wrong message.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too has taken up the case of absent or truant MPs, telling them at the same meet just last week that they need to be present when Houses are in session. Observing MPs were particularly absent after lunch, the Prime Minister had said it is the duty of the treasury benches to push through the government’s legislative initiatives.

It is understood that the Prime Minister has sought a list of the MPs missing the session on Monday.

Over 30 MPs of the BJP and allies were not in the Rajya Sabha on Monday when a Constitution amendment bill on backward classes sailed through on Opposition power where it is in the majority.

Since the government does not have numbers in the Rajya Sabha, the missive to MPs is clear: be present in full strength to challenge the Opposition.

There is a party whip too to this effect.

The Opposition’s amendments were passed by 74 to 52 votes. The BJP's strength is 56 while the ruling block enjoys the support of 88 members, counting 10 JD(U) MPs.

PTI adds: “The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, providing for setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes, was passed after dropping Clause 3, to which four amendments was approved by the House earlier.

The dropped clause pertains to the insertion of a new article 338B about the constitution and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes.

The amended bill will now have to be returned to the Lok Sabha for its fresh approval. The Lower House had already passed the bill but in the Upper House it had been referred to a Select Committee as the Opposition had wanted more scrutiny.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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