Attend Par panel meets or lose membership: Naidu

Amid the recent controversy over MPs skipping a Parliamentary panel meeting, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu will be writing to floor leaders in the Upper House to ensure that their members attend these deliberations.

In Rajya Sabha when the Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill was being sent to a 23-member Select Committee headed by senior BJP MP Bhupendra Yadav, Naidu instructed the panel chairman to add an annexure providing details about the attendance of members, there has to be "some amount of seriousness" on deliberations of Standing Committees or Select Committees.

Sources said Naidu's plan to write the letter comes as Chairpersons of some Standing Committees had informally told him that panel meetings some times see very low attendance.

In one of the recent instances, sources said, a panel that finalised a report that was widely discussed saw the attendance of around a dozen MPs on a regular basis.

If the letter does not serve the purpose, they said, Naidu plans to strictly enforce the rule that throws out an MP who misses two consecutive meetings without his permission. So far, this rule has not been enforced.

Sources said Naidu is concerned about the absence of members in these panels even as almost all parties insist and some times even disrupt the House to get the Bill go to either the Parliamentary Standing Committee or Rajya Sabha Select Committee. However, sources said, when the panel deliberations start, the eagerness is not seen.

Last week, a controversy erupted after 25 out of 29 MPs besides a number of officials skipped a meeting of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development to discuss pollution in national capital and its suburbs.

On Thursday, Naidu said, "when he (Select Committee Chairman on Surrogacy Bill) presents the report, he must also put annexure about how many members attended how many meetings. Some amount of seriousness has to come into the deliberations of Standing Committees and Select Committees."

The Select Committee has Saroj Pande (BJP), Jairam Ramesh (Congress), A Naveneethakrishnan (AIADMK), Prasanna Acharya (BJD), RCP Singh (JD(U), V Vijaysai Reddy (YSR Congress) and Vandana Chavan (NCP) among others.

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