In what may have reminded them of their school days, the names of over two dozen BJP MPs were called out at a party meeting on Tuesday and the lawmakers stood up one by one to explain why they skipped the vote on the land acquisition bill in Lok Sabha last week. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present at the meeting but did not say anything.
The lawmakers, including minister of state Babul Supriyo, faced embarrassing moments at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting with parliamentary affairs minister M Venkaiah Naidu reading out names of the MPs who gave the crucial session a miss despite the party issuing a whip.
Sultanpur MP Varun Gandhi, Mumbai North Central MP Poonam Mahajan, Beed MP Pritam Munde (daughter of late Gopinath Munde) and Sidhi MP Rithi Pathak were among those pulled up for their absence. Shatrughan Sinha’s name too was called out but the actor-turned-politician was not present at the meeting.
Two MPs cited deaths in their family and a third said he was absent due to a wedding. Pathak said she was busy with Panchayat elections in Madhya Pradesh.
Modi was earlier said to be upset with 10 of the party’s 46 Rajya Sabha MPs for skipping the vote on the motion of thanks to the President for his speech at the joint sitting of Parliament.
According to sources, Naidu had in previous meetings warned MPs that their names would be called out for poor attendance in Parliament. On Tuesday, he reiterated that the government wants the party MPs to be present in both Houses, especially on days when it is trying to get crucial legislations passed.