Sonia against red beacons for MPs
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday vetoed the party MPs demand for being given the right to sport red beacons atop their vehicle.delhi Updated: May 23, 2012 00:54 IST
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday vetoed the party MPs demand for being given the right to sport red beacons atop their vehicle.
Coinciding with the third anniversary of UPA II, Gandhi voiced her opposition to the move at a meeting of the executive body of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).
Senior leader PC Chacko had raised the issue, saying even Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) used these lights on their vehicles in states.
But Gandhi disagreed. Her disapproval came close on the heels of a discussion on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha last week which saw Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political spectrum making a strong demand for red beacons atop their vehicles.
A parliamentary committee on ethics had sought this privilege for MPs in a report tabled in December last year.
Also at the meeting, parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal raised the issue of absenteeism in both houses. He pointed out that MPs remain absent during important discussions and key legislative business despite whips.
Absenteeism has been a serious concern for party managers in both houses and Gandhi has repeatedly expressed concern over the trend.
The meeting was also told that some MPs come and sign the attendance register and go back without attending the house.
On her part, Gandhi called for immediate steps to ensure better attendance of MPs and sought a list of absentee MPs at regular intervals. She also wanted parliament roster duty be followed strictly, especially by the ministers.
Bansal, on his part, said he was in the process of preparing a list of errant MPs and would submit to Gandhi soon. He had written to all the Congress MPs twice during the budget session of parliament and had asked them to remain present in the capital on all working days to ensure that the government has a smooth ride in both houses of Parliament.