Conscious that it needs to get its act together and carry out key legislative business including approval of the Finance Bill despite din in Parliament, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday issued a three-line whip to all its members to be present in Lok Sabha during the next three days.
“We have included all important issues in list of business. We have also issued a three-line whip to all our MPs. The party has asked all BJP MPs to be present in the Lower House on March 13, 14 and 15 so that important legislation could be passed,” Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar told reporters here.
He requested all other parties to let Parliament function and discuss burning issues in a cordial and constructive manner. The BJP Parliamentary Party held its meeting on Tuesday morning, which was attended among others by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, party chief Amit Shah and its patriarch Lal Krishna Advani, among others.
Mr Kumar lashed out at the Congress for going back on its word and not participating in the debate on banking scams despite having listed it in the agenda. “We request Congress and other parties to let House function. It seems Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi do not believe in democracy. They speak outside on democracy but do not practice it in Parliament,” the BJP leader asserted.
The second half of the Budget session of Parliament has been a complete washout since it resumed on March 5 after the customary break. From last Monday, the proceedings of both the Houses have been adjourned abruptly as members of various parties — Congress, Telegu Desam Party, Yuvajan Sharmik Ryuthu Congress, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kaghazam and All India Trinamool Congress have protested on daily basis in the well of the House, showing placards and raising anti-government slogans.
The opposition members’ protest come close on the heels of BJP successes in the recent Assembly polls in red bastion Tripura. Besides, the saffron party also cobbled together coalition governments two other Northeast states of Meghalaya and Nagaland. Mr Ananth Kumar has said that the government was ready for debate on all issues, including the banking scams, provided the members allowed the House function smoothly.
The names of Congress member K C Venugopal and N K Premchandran (RSP) figured in the day’s agenda papers for last few days as ‘movers’ for a debate under Rule 193 on ‘alleged systemic irregularities in banking sector over the years and its impact on Indian economy.’ Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge, however, has said the debate should be held under rules that entail voting.