Congress issues whip before voting on President address, govt bucks up | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Congress issues whip before voting on President address, govt bucks up

The Congress has issued a three-line whip to its members to be present in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when the amendments to the motion of thanks to the President’s address will be taken up for voting even as the government stepped up efforts to avoid yet another embarrassment.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2017 01:38 IST
HT Correspondent
To avoid confrontations, the ruling side agreed to the opposition’s demand that PM Modi will remain present when Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma speaks on the motion of thanks.
To avoid confrontations, the ruling side agreed to the opposition’s demand that PM Modi will remain present when Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma speaks on the motion of thanks.(HT File Photo)

The Congress has issued a three-line whip to its members to be present in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when the amendments to the motion of thanks to the President’s address will be taken up for voting even as the government stepped up efforts to avoid yet another embarrassment.

To avoid confrontations, the ruling side agreed to the opposition’s demand that PM Modi will remain present when Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma speaks on the motion of thanks.

The PM will speak in the Rajya Sabha around 5pm. In all, 651 amendments were moved — two by Congress members T Subbarami Reddy and Chhaya Verma. Others who moved amendments include CPI(M ) leaders Sitaram Yechury and Ritabrata Banerjee, CPI’s D Raja, Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress and SP leader Kiranmoy Nanda.

For two consecutive years, the BJP-led NDA government had to face embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha after the opposition managed to pass its amendments to the President’s address.

In 2016, leader of opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad moved an amendment, expressing regret that the President’s address did not pledge support to rights of all citizens to contest panchayat elections. When Azad pressed for the amendment, 94 voted in favour and 61 against. An amendment moved by Yechury and others in the Upper House in 2015 on President’s address was passed with 118 voting for and 57 against.

Despite the whip, party leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad and Raj Babbar will not attend the proceedings as they will be busy campaigning in UP.