BJP issues whip to avoid embarrassment in the Parliament

| Updated: Feb 05, 2017 04:29 IST

By Anoop New Delhi [India], Feb. 4 (ANI): In order to avoid embarrassment in Parliament, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has issued whip to its parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha when the house will debate on the Presidential address. The party has also asked its MPs to be present in the Rajya Sabha as the Opposition has proposed 651 amendments on this years' motion of thanks for the President's address. The whip will take effect from February 6 and will last till February 9, i.e. in the remaining days of the current session of the Parliament. Though discussions took place on the Presidents' address in the lower House yesterday, the constant disruption from the opposition parties forced the speaker to adjourn the House. The disruption has emerged as a matter of grave concern for the government as it does not enjoy majority in the Upper House and hence, wants all its members to be with full vigour in order to counter the opposition's moves. The President's address to the parliament has traditionally always been passed without any amendments. In the last two years, however, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)-led government faced embarrassment in the Rajya Sabha. Last year, the opposition added a sentence to the Motion of Thanks to the President. The sentence said that it is a duty of the government to protect the fundamental rights of the citizens to be able to contest elections at all levels of governance. The sentence was added to the amendment while sidelining an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The amendment was presented by Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad. The amendment pertained to a minimum level of educational qualification for contesting elections for the Panchayat in Rajasthan and Haryana. The proposal was voted upon with 94 out of a total of 155 members voting in its favour. In 2015, a proposal by Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M)) leader Sitaram Yechury was approved. The proposal was related to black money and corruption. Yechury had expressed regret over the fact that the Presidential address did not explicitly specify the governments' commitment towards eradicating corruption and black money. The Congress has never faced such embarrassment in the Parliament. An amendment to the Presidential address has been made thrice till now. It first took place on January 30, 1980 when the Janata Party was in power. It later took place under V.P. Singh's tenure in 1989. And, in March 12, 2001 when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.(ANI)
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