Sachin, Rekha under fire for skipping RS

Sachin, Rekha under fire for skipping RS

Cricket legend  Sachin Tendulkar and yesteryear Bollywood star Rekha were criticised for their prolonged absence from the Rajya Sabha after they became members two years ago. 

Many members raised the issue in the House saying that poor attendance was not acceptable. 

Tendulkar, however, responded to the criticism saying there was a medical emergency that kept him away from Delhi and that he did not mean disrespect to any institution of Parliament.

Speaking at a sports function in Vigyan Bhawan, not far away from Parliament, he said, “My absence in Delhi has been discussed rather too much.” 

“When I came back from England, people were talking about my missing Parliament session but I want to say I did it because of an emergency in my family,” Tendulkar said “Certain things I want to keep private. But just to let you know, my elder brother Ajit had to undergo a bypass surgery and I had to be by his side”, he added. 

As Sachin and Rekha came under attack by members of the Upper House for their continuous absence, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has decided to send notices to them reminding them of their non-attendance.  

Raising the issue, P Rajeeve (CPM) sought to know whether both members had taken permission. 

P J Kurian, Deputy Chairman of the House said: “As per Article 104 of the Constitution, if a member is absent from either House of Parliament for a period of 60 days, then the seat is considered vacant. In case of Sachin Tendulkar, he has not attended Parliament for 40 days whereas Rekha’s absence is less than that,” he observed.  

Though both the members have not violated Constitutional provisions, the Rajya Sabha Secretariat decided to send a notice to them about their absence, sources told Deccan Herald. 

The previous UPA government had nominated them to the Upper House in April 2012. Since his nomination, Tendulkar attended the session for only three days, the last time being December 13, 2013. 

Rekha attended the session for seven days, her last attendance being February 19, 2014.

Several members,  including NCP leader D P Tripathi, decried both the members’ absence and said their conduct amounts to  insult to Parliament and country’s Constitution. 

“Even after completing two  years as a member of the Rajya Sabha, Rekha has not even given her choice of district for utilising Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) fund”, Rajeeve told Deccan Herald. 

Each MP may recommend to the district collector development works worth Rs 5 crore. While the fund is for constituency improvement by Lok Sabha members, a Rajya Sabha member may select one or more districts in the state from which he/she has got elected for taking up the works.    

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