Party work is no reason to remain absent in RS: Naidu

Party work is no reason to remain absent in RS: Naidu

Cite party work as a reason for leave in Rajya Sabha and be rest assured next time, no MP is getting permission to remain absent.

This was what Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu told the Upper House on Wednesday when a leave application came from Kerala Congress (Mani) MP Jose K Mani citing political pre-occupation as the reason for seeking permission to remain absent during Budget Session.

As soon as he read his letter, Naidu said none should write "party work" as a reason for seeking leave. “He should not write like this, because everybody has got party work,” he said.

However, he said Mani should be allowed leave this time as he is a first time MP in Rajya Sabha and he may not be aware of certain norms. The House approved his leave as well as that of Samajwadi Party's Beni Prasad Verma, who cited health reasons as the reason for his absence.

"Any member writing to the Chair seeking permission to be absent from the House has to state a valid reason. Particularly, it is health and all, and, normally, it is considered positively. Party work or family work is not a reason that can be cited for asking for leave," Naidu said.

Mani, the Vice President of his party, is at present leading 'Kerala Yatra' ahead of Lok Sabha elections.

He was Lok Sabha MP till last year and had quit his Kottayam seat to enter Rajya Sabha following his party's re-entry in Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala.

Soon after, the House was adjourned till 2 PM as Congress MPs sought suspension of business to discuss Supreme Court rebuking the Centre on National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam.

Later, when the House reassembled at 2 PM, SP, BSP and RJD MPs rushed to the Well of the House demanding an immediate discussion on the department-wise roster system for filling up vacant posts of teachers in universities.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar assured the House that the Centre will file a review petition against Allahabad High Court order, days after Supreme Court declined to intervene dismissing the Special Leave Petition filed by the Centre.

The MPs are demanding a bill to reverse the Allahabad High Court verdict, which favoured department-wise filling up of posts. The MPs argued that this will deny job opportunities to Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBC).

This did not calm down the MPs who continued their sloganeering following which Deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House for the day.