Some Lost Way, Some Suspended & Others Just Missing: Amid Women’s Bill Watershed, Absent MPs in Focus

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Reported By: Pallavi Ghosh

Last Updated: September 22, 2023, 13:03 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in group photograph with women MPs after the passage of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam. (PTI)

The glaring point is that in Lok Sabha, only about 60 members participated in the debate. In Rajya Sabha, many empty seats could be seen during the debate which is testimony to the non-serious nature of many MPs

The Women’s Reservation Bill is now part of a historic moment in parliamentary democracy. While the Bill was passed in both Houses with overwhelming majority, it’s the missing MPs who have grabbed attention.

In Lok Sabha, of the 543 MPs, two voted against the Bill while 454 voted in favour — a shortfall of about 80. Since the new Parliament building does not have facility of vote by division (ie the buttons to be pressed and which will reveal the names of the MPs), it is difficult to gauge who was missing.

Sources in the Lok Sabha secretariat also said many MPs were lost. As soon as the Speaker announced that the corridors should be cleared and voting by slips would begin, a few MPs were unable to find their way in and back.

However, the sources also told News18: “We have been training MPs and giving them orientation classes so it is a little surprising if some say they couldn’t find their way in.”

Unlike in 2010, when the Trinamool Congress abstained, this time no party could afford to vote against the Bill — except the AIMIM.

Sonia Gandhi was absent at the time of voting as she was unwell. She, however, was the first speaker on the Bill.

In Rajya Sabha too, the total votes were 215 and none against in about 250 members. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members Raghav Chadha and Sanjay Singh were missing as they are suspended.

The glaring point though is that in Lok Sabha, according to table office sources, only about 60 members participated in the debate. In Rajya Sabha, many empty seats could be seen during the debate which is testimony to the non-serious nature of many MPs.

In fact, it has often been seen that during matters of urgent importance, MPs have been conspicuous by their absence. For instance, on Manipur, the benches were not filled up, considering that the Opposition wanted the debate and there were repeated adjournments over it.

Pallavi GhoshPallavi Ghosh has covered politics and Parliament for 15 years, and has reported extensively on Congress, UPA-I and UPA-II, and has now included the F…Read More



Source: www.news18.com

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