Venkaiah Naidu writes to floor leaders on attendance
Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu has written to floor leaders of all parties, asking them to ensure that respective party MPs regularly attend meetings of the house committees, days after he expressed his dismay over the poor rate of attendance in such panels. He also said if an MP remained absent, the opinion of his or her party will not be expressed in the panel.
He also asked leaders to suggest “instituting a mechanism” in parties to “regularly monitor the attendance of MPs” in various house committees, asking them to give “serious consideration” to his suggestions for the “larger interest of functioning of Parliament.”
“Political parties are central to the effective functioning of parliamentary democracy. The department-related standing committees (DRSCs) are constituted to ensure representation of political parties based on their strength in each of House of Parliament. If the Members of Parliament belonging to a party absent themselves from the meetings of DRSCs, the view point and concerns of respective parties on issues under consideration will not be reflected in the recommendations /reports of DRSCs,” Naidu wrote to floor leaders.
He also pointed out that since each member of a panel represents 25 MPs, “if one member does not attend a meeting of the committee, it amounts to denying the voice of as many MPs being reflected in the meetings of the committees.”
Till last week, 28 MPs were yet to attend a standing committee meeting of the eight panels that come under the purview of the Rajya Sabha, official records revealed. The DRSCs have members from both houses. According to the records, just five out of 31 members attended one of the meetings of the home affairs panel.
Naidu also said it was unacceptable that some ministers were not present in the house to lay on the table the papers listed against their names. He said the ministers should meet him and explain why they cannot come to the House after giving notice.
“Ministers giving notice to lay papers on the table of the house and not being present is not acceptable,” he said. He said the ministers should take the chair’s permission to remain absent.