Narendra Modi pulls up Ministers who played truant

After complaints from the Opposition, Mr. Modi takes note of those who skipped roster duty in Parliament.

Updated - July 16, 2019 10:15 pm IST

Published - July 16, 2019 12:54 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives at the BJP parliamentary party meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pulled up Ministers for playing truant from roster duty in Parliament, taking cognizance of complaints by Opposition leaders. 

Addressing the weekly meeting of the BJP’s Parliamentary Party (when session is on), Mr. Modi said he had “asked for the names” of errant Ministers and taken the matter seriously. 

Ministers are placed on roster duty to be present in Parliament when session is on.

“Prime Minister Modi said that several Opposition leaders had mentioned to him that Ministers were missing from Parliament, and that he was not happy with that state of affairs,” said a senior MP present at the meeting. 

At a July 2 meeting, the Prime Minister listed out several criterion based on which he selected MPs to join his Cabinet, with participation in Parliament proceedings as an important criterion. 

Significantly, Mr. Modi also indicated that there was much on the government’s legislative agenda, and that “if need be, the session can be extended,” the MP said. 

Members who attended the meet did not share the context in which this remark was made. 

The Prime Minister asked the MPs to associate themselves with causes related to social welfare like the rehabilitation of those suffering from leprosy or the government’s tuberculosis eradication programme that seeks to remove TB from the country by 2025, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi told mediapersons after the meeting. 

“He said, ‘logon ko yaad rahey, aisa koi kaam kaor’ [do something that will be long remembered by the people], adding that if MPs had any aspirational districts within their constituencies, then they should get in touch with the officers serving there to lend a helping hand in the various social welfare programmes,” said the MP. 

“He said that officers were themselves in competition in these districts against each other and MPs should help them compete. These activities were to be undertaken in an apolitical spirit and not for votes,” said a source quoting Mr. Modi. 

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