Cong pulls up truant MPs

Cong pulls up truant MPs


Sonia Gandhi is displeased at  Monday’s incident.

Altogether 34 MPs, including many from the Congress, did not turn up at the LS during the Question Hour on Monday, although their questions were short-listed to be orally replied by the ministers on the floor of the House.

Due to the absence of the Congress MPs, Speaker Meira Kumar had to adjourn the House about half-an-hour after the Question Hour began.

The absence of the Congress MPs during the Question Hour irked Sonia, who ordered an inquiry within the party to find out how so many lawmakers were not present in the House at a time.

“She (Sonia) has expressed her displeasure over what happened in the LS on Monday and stated that all the MPs of our party must ensure that this does not happen again,” said Pawan Singh Ghatowar, Congress Chief Whip for the Lok Sabha.

Sources said Sonia has asked Ghatowar to seek explanation from the absentees.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Bansal wrote a letter to all the truant MPs of the Congress and its allies in the UPA asking them to make it sure that they do not remain absent in future, particularly when questions listed by them are selected to be orally replied to by the ministers in the House.

Prominent Congress MPs, who were not present in the LS during the Question Hour on Monday, included Shruti Choudhary, Madhu Goud Yakshi, Eknath Gaikawad and B Jhansi Laxmi. “It was a lesson to learn,” Choudhary said on Tuesday. In all her addresses in the Congress Parliamentary Party  meet in the past, Sonia asked her party MPs to be present in the Houses when important matters were to be taken up.

Ghatowar said he had spoken to some of the absentees on Tuesday. “Some of them told me that they could not come to the House before the Question Hour started on Monday as they had gone to their constituencies during the weekend and their trains to Delhi were delayed,” he said.

“The Congress has its own internal mechanism to deal with such situation and what needs to be done is being done. Leave it to us,”  AICC spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi told reporters on Tuesday.

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