NEW DELHI: Meetings of the Parliament’s Standing Committees usually witness keener participation and livelier debate than Parliament itself. Not this time!
MPs from various parties have skipped the Parliamentary Standing Committee meetings after they were reconstituted in September to deliberate on the Bills for introduction in the House during 2022-23. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been raising this issue to ensure the presence of BJP MPs in the meeting with little effect.
Significantly, the BJP, which has the largest number of members on the committees, also accounted for the highest absentees Data from the Lok Sabha website reveals that after the reorganisation of 13 Standing Committees of the Lower House, 22 meetings were held from October to November 2022 for selecting the subjects to be considered during the year 2022-23. Only 16 members were present on an average. Each Standing Committee is attached to a ministry and consists of 31 members. On an average, more than 40 per cent of members were absent in the meetings of more than a dozen Standing Committees of the Lok Sabha.
Notable absentees included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi from the Congress, Hema Malini and Maneka Gandhi from the BJP and film star Jaya Bachchan from the SP.