Ministers who need to present papers must not skip session, says Naidu

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Rajya Sabha chairman M Venkaiah Naidu on Friday expressed displeasure on ministers being absent from the House even though papers are listed against their names.

Naidu said ministers who are supposed to lay the papers on the table of the House should attend parliamentary proceedings. In case they are not able to join the session, they must seek permission from the chair, he added.

“The ministers who are supposed to lay papers on the table of the House having given notice to the Chair should not be absent from the House. In extreme circumstances — there would be some occasions — if there is any problem, they must approach the Chair in advance and seek permission,” the Rajya Sabha chairman said.

Asking leader of the House Piyush Goyal and parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi to take note of the matter, Naidu said: “Some of them are doing it, while others think it is casual. It cannot be casual, it cannot be usual. I’ll not allow such things in the future. The leader of the House and the parliamentary affairs minister are here. I hope they take notice. I’m not objecting to others laying (the papers) on their behalf with prior notice and permission. This has to be kept in mind.”

Minister of state for railways Raosaheb Dadarao Danve, minister of state for consumer affairs Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti and minister of state for agriculture and farmers’ welfare Shobha Karandlaje were among those who skipped Friday’s proceedings.

Minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Muraleedharan tabled the papers on behalf of the three ministers in the Upper House of the Parliament.

When contacted, Karandlaje’s office said she is in Uttar Pradesh and they had informed the Rajya Sabha about it. Jyoti and Danve couldn’t be contacted for a comment.

After Naidu’s statement, CPI(M) lawmaker John Brittas said “they (ministers) have no respect for the Parliament”, to which Naidu replied, “This applies to all the people who do not respect the Parliament and the Chair.”

“Two ministers had taken prior permission and informed the Chairman at the last minute. The Chairman just said that ministers should take prior permission,” a minister said on condition of anonymity.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had told party MPs to remain present during proceedings in Parliament.

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