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PM warns absentee ministers, asks Pralhad Joshi to prepare daily list

Sources said that at BJP's weekly parliamentary party meeting, PM Modi asked for a list of ministers who skipped their parliament duty despite being on the roster.

Updated: Jul 17, 2019, 07.50 AM IST
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The Prime Minister also urged the lawmakers to work on war footing to tackle diseases such as Tuberculosis.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi pulled up his council of ministers for not attending Parliament proceedings and warned of strict action if they were found missing in the House.

Modi flagged the issue at the weekly BJP parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday when he pointed out that some ministers skipped the House proceedings even though their names were on roster duty.

“Ministers are not present in the House during their roster duty and send a letter asking that they be excused as they are busy with some other work. I know how to set right such ministers,” Modi said, according to some MPs present in the meeting.

The PM has directed parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi to prepare a daily list of ministers who bunk their roster duty and send it to him. There were occasions in both the Houses when the front row was virtually empty or the minister of the concerned ministry, whose matter or a bill was being discussed, wasn’t present. Last week in the Rajya Sabha, when the budget was being discussed, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman and minister of state Anurag Thakur were not present. When the opposition pointed this out, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad informed Thakur was out to have tea and would be back in a few minutes.

Modi also directed the first-time BJP MPs to make a special effort to create the right first impression in their constituency. “The first impression is created within threefour months of getting elected. If an impression is created that the MP is unapproachable, then it’s very difficult to erase it,” a BJP MP quoted Modi as saying.

To achieve this, MPs were advised to visit their constituencies regularly and to meet people. He suggested that legislators should also organise programmes and make efforts to reach out to non-political people — especially professionals like doctors, engineers, businesspersons — who usually keep away from politicians.

The prime minister said MPs should take up one project unique to their constituency and ensure its completion. The lawmakers should also rope in party members of their constituency to get feedback on issues concerning the people and then engage with the district magistrate to get them redressed. This should be done even more effectively in 112 aspirational districts, he added.

Taking about other issues, the PM said efforts should be made to eradicate tuberculosis across the country by 2025. Modi further asked BJP parliamentarians to work for the eradication of foot and mouth disease among cattle. The cattle should be freed from this pain through proper action, he said.
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