After PM Modi’s rebuke over session bunking, BJP issues whip to Lok Sabha MPs
The Bharatiya Janata Party has issued a three-line whip asking its lawmakers to be present in the House on Thursday when the Lok Sabha takes up the Aadhaar bill as well as the Economic Survey.
The whip comes after Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pulled up his party’s members of Parliament, who had been skipping sittings or its debates, delivering a clear message that the BJP was keeping a close watch on their attendance in the House and its many panels. Modi also talked about lax attendance by linking it to promotions.
The Prime Minister asked if the MPs knew how he chose his council of ministers and how attendance is a big part of this. He told them how he went through attendance records, interventions, questions and how MPs interacted in parliamentary committees. “I rank everyone according to all this and then decide the ministers,’’ Modi said at the BJP’s parliamentary party meeting.
Modi also said this was a bit like winning an election “with a margin of 2-3 lakh and then realising your best friend hasn’t voted for you?’’ while responding to a comment from parliamentary affairs minister, Pralhad Joshi, about poor attendance on the treasury benches,
“How would you feel if Amit Shah was going to come to campaign for you and then cancelled two days before?” he added.
Modi’s sharp reminder on Tuesday was not the first time he has highlighted the problem of MPs skipping sittings.
The Prime Minister had during one parliamentary party meeting warned lawmakers who aren’t punctual that their attendance would be taken into account when the party has to give out tickets to contest the national elections.
The Aadhaar and Other Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019, proposes to allow voluntary use of Aadhaar as identity proof for opening bank accounts and procuring mobile phone connections. It seeks to replace an ordinance issued in March this year.
“Subsequent to this amendment, no individual shall be compelled to provide proof of possession of Aadhaar number or undergo authentication for the purpose of establishing his identity unless it is so provided by a law made by Parliament,” the government said in a statement after the cabinet cleared the bill.