Venkaiah Naidu reprimands MPs for absenteeism in standing committees

The Hindu, December 05, 2019

Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday pulled up members for skipping meetings of the standing committees. He said that only 18 members attended all the 41 meetings of the eight panels since their reconstitution in September last.

The reprimand comes in the backdrop of Opposition parties’ constant criticism that the government bypasses all parliamentary scrutiny by not routing key legislations via the standing committees. The committees are often described as mini Parliament, where the members are able to work outside of the party whip.

Mr. Naidu held a meeting in the morning with the chairpersons of the eight committees and shared the statistics about the absenteeism.

As per the data shared by Mr. Naidu, “Eighteen of the total 168 members represented on these eight Committees have attended all the 41 meetings.” And of the 18, eight are the chairpersons of the committees. Mr. Naidu said he expected all members to attend the committee meetings. “Each member of the department-related standing committee represents 25 Members of Parliament while deliberating. If one member is absent, the voice of 25 members would not be heard,” he noted.

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