BJP may discuss its MPs’ absence from Rajya Sabha at Parl party meeting


The issue of absence of several BJP members in the Rajya Sabha, where the government suffered an embarrassment today after the opposition managed to pass a bill on backward classes with amendments, may figure in its Parliamentary party meeting tomorrow, sources said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and top government ministers are likely to attend the meeting, the sources said.

Modi has repeatedly asked the party MPs to ensure their presence in both the Houses underlining that it is the duty of treasury benches to ensure the passage of the government’s legislative agenda.

The upper House today saw high drama and embarrassment for the government as a Constitution amendment bill on backward classes was changed after some amendments moved by the Opposition were passed by the House.

The Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2017, providing for setting up of a National Commission for Backward Classes, was passed after dropping Clause 3, to which four amendments was approved by the House earlier.

The dropped clause pertains to the insertion of a new article 338B about the constitution and powers of the National Commission for Backward Classes.

The amended bill will now have to be returned to the Lok Sabha for its fresh approval. The Lower House had already passed the bill but in the upper House it had been referred to a Select Committee as the Opposition had wanted more scrutiny.

Days after the Select Committee submitted its report, the Rajya Sabha today took up the Constituent amendment bill, whose passage requires two-third majority of those present and voting in the 245-member House.