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Amit Shah cracks whip on absentee MPs

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP working president J.P. Nadda and others during the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament Library in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP working president J.P. Nadda and others during the BJP parliamentary party meeting at Parliament Library in New Delhi on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.   | Photo Credit: R.V. Moorthy

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Ensure presence to get legislation passed, he tells party meeting

After having got the current Parliament session extended to accommodate the legislative business of the government, Union Home Minister Amit Shah enjoined upon BJP MPs to ensure their presence in Parliament so that legislation get passed, especially since the Opposition had been pressing for division of votes during the passing of certain Bills.

According to sources, in his speech to the BJP’s parliamentary party on Tuesday, Mr. Shah said the motion for consideration of the National Medical Commission Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday was passed with 260-48 votes, and added that the margin “should have been bigger”. Mr. Shah also asked MPs, including Union Ministers, to attend an orientation programme being held by the party on August 3 and 4, saying their attendance is a must.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was present in the meeting but did not address the MPs, will also speak at the orientation programme, which includes a course in parliamentary procedures and rules, and also the saffron party’s ideology.

“The number of BJP MPs elected after joining the party from elsewhere is high, and therefore, it was felt that some orientation on the party’s ideological line on issues and legislation must be provided,” said an MP who was present at the meeting.

The BJP alone has 303 members in the Lok Sabha, while its allies have nearly 50.

Since the Opposition has often been pressing for divisions of votes, BJP members should be present in their respective House, he said. Mr. Modi had stressed strict attendance in Parliament in the past, and expressed his displeasure at MPs’ absenteeism.

15 bills cleared

In his briefing, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi said Parliament had so far passed 15 Bills in this session.

“We request parliamentarians to sit late so that all these bills could be passed,” Mr Joshi said.

There are six bills which have been passed only by Lok Sabha and are yet to get Rajya Sabha’s nod. There are four bills which have been passed only by Rajya Sabha and are yet to get Lok Sabha's nod, Mr. Joshi said. He added that 11 other bills are still pending and will be tabled in both Houses in the coming days.

The ongoing session had started from June 17 and was scheduled to end on July 26, but it has been extended till August 7.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 11:23:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/ensure-presence-in-parliament-to-back-bills-says-amit-shah-to-bjp-mps/article28755493.ece

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