No leave from Parliament till August 7, Shah to BJP MPs

Union Home Minister Amit Shah addresses during the groundbreaking ceremony of projects worth Rs 65,000 crore, at Indira Gandhi Pratishthan, in Lucknow. (PTI Photo)

Taking umbrage to his party MPs remaining absent during passage of crucial bills in Parliament, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday did some plain talk at a parliamentary party meeting, making it clear to them that they have to ensure full attendance till the Budget Session concludes on August 7.

Addressing the meeting, Shah also asked the BJP MPs, including Union ministers, to attend a two-day orientation programme to be organised by the party over this weekend, saying their attendance in the event “is a must.”

During the two-day orientation programme to be held on August 3 (Saturday) and August 4 (Sunday), the BJP MPs will undergo a course on parliamentary procedure and rules as well as the ideology of the party, parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the parliamentary party meeting. but did not address the party MPs.

The party has organised the orientation programme for the MPs, with many of them being elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time. Modi will attend the programme and address the BJP MPs.

Sources said Shah asked his party MPs to ensure their presence in both Houses of Parliament every day till the Budget Session concludes next week. He noted that though the National Medical Commission Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday with 260 votes in favour and 48 against, the margin of votes in its favour should have been bigger.

While the BJP alone has 303 members in the Lok Sabha, its allies take the total strength of the NDA to 353 in the Lower House.

Shah also laid stress on the attendance of party MPs in both the Houses of Parliament, observing that the Opposition members have been demanding a division of votes during the passage of the Bills.

Modi has also time and again stressed on the need for the party MPs to remain present in Parliament. At time, he has also expressed his displeasure with the absence of the BJP MPs during the Session.

In Rajya Sabha, the NDA is short of majority. Any lapse in attendance of the NDA members in the Upper House can cost it dear.

"We request parliamentarians to sit late so that all these bills could be passed," the Parliamentary Affairs Minister said.

Joshi told reporters that Parliament has so far passed 15 bills.

While six bills, which have been passed by the Lok Sabha, are yet to get Rajya Sabha's nod, there are four bills which have been passed by the Rajya Sabha but they are due to get approval of the Lok Sabha.

“A total of 11 other bills are still pending and will be tabled in both the Houses in coming days," Joshi said.

The Budget Session, which began on June 17, was scheduled to conclude on July 26. The duration of the ongoing Parliament's Session, however, was extended recently till August 7 with the government wanting to bring more bills for their passage.

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