New Delhi: In the first BJP parliamentary party meeting after he came back to power, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pulled up party MPs for their poor attendance in Parliament, and asked them to be present during legislative proceedings.
According to sources, the Prime Minister expressed displeasure over the absence of party MPs from Parliament and gave examples to drive his message home. "How will you feel if you win your election by 2 lakh votes but come to know that your best friend did not vote? How will you feel if a rally by party president Amit Shah in your constituency is cancelled at the last minute?" he asked party MPs, adding that this is how the leadership felt at their absence from Parliament. The Prime Minister also cited the example of LJP MP Chirag Paswan for his good attendance in Parliament and told BJP MPs to learn from him as to how to come prepared for an issue to participate in parliamentary debates.
Modi's message came in the backdrop of low attendance of BJP MPs during the division of votes on the introduction of triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha on June 21. There were 186 votes in its support and 74 against, even though the BJP has 303 members in the House and its allies have 50. AIMIM member Asaduddin Owaisi had sought a division of votes when Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had introduced the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, also known as the triple talaq Bill. This is the first legislation tabled by the government in the 17th Lok Sabha.
The poor attendance of BJP MPs has long been a sore issue for Modi, who had flagged the matter time and again even during the previous term of his government. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pralhad Joshi told reporters that Modi likened Parliament to a university for MPs, saying it provides them biggest opportunity to learn and learning is something that never ends. He also asked them to dedicate themselves to people's service so that they are known for what they have done for the masses, Joshi said.