MPs from various parties have skipped the Parliamentary Standing Committee meetings after they were reconstituted in September to deliberate on the Bills for introduction in Parliament during 2022-23, according to the data on the Lok Sabha website.
After the reorganisation of 13 Standing Committees of the Lower House, 22 meetings were held from October to November 2022 for selecting the subjects to be considered during the year 2022-23 in which only 16 members were present on an average, the data showed.
The Standing Committee of Parliament consists of 31 members from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in which 21 are from the Lower House and 10 from the Upper.
On an average, more than 40% of members were absent in the meetings of more than a dozen Standing Committees of the Lok Sabha, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Consumer Affairs, External Affairs, Commerce, Housing and Urban Affairs, Social Justice and Empowerment, it showed.
The BJP which has the largest number of members on the committees also accounted for the highest absentees.
Notable members who were absent from the meetings of these committees were Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, P. Chidambaram, Manish Tewari, Deepender Hooda (all Congress); Jaya Bachchan (SP); Hema Malini, Maneka Gandhi, Pragya Singh Thakur, Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Pravesh Sahib Singh Verma, Kirit Premjibhai Solanki (all BJP); Ilaiya Raja (nominated); Harbhajan Singh and Sanjay Singh (both AAP); Simranjit Singh Mann (Akali Dal Amritsar) etc.
Akali Dal's Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Trinamool Congress's Abhishek Banerjee and Kalyan Banerjee, independents Kapil Sibal and Navneet Rana, RJD's Misa Bharti were also absent from the committee meetings.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been raising this issue to ensure the presence of BJP MPs in the Parliamentary committees.
According to statistics, only 12 members were present in the meeting held on October 10, of the 31-member Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Processing.
While only 17 out of 31 members attended the meeting of the Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of Finance on October 28, 21 members attended the meeting of the same committee held on November 4.
In the meeting of the Standing Committee attached to the Ministry of External Affairs on October 19, only 14 members were present and only 15 members were present in the meeting held on the topic 'Combating Global Terrorism' on November 10.
The meeting attached to the Ministry of Food and Consumer Affairs on October 18 was attended only by 15 members.
According to statistics, only 14 members attended the meeting of the committee attached to the Ministry of Commerce on October 17 and only 15 members were present in the meeting of the same committee held on October 28.
Eleven members attended the meeting of the standing committee on Social Justice and Empowerment on October 17.
Twenty-four members were present in the meeting on Railways held on October 20.