Updated: January 4, 2022 2:15:08 pm
A DAY after Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned his party MPs about regular attendance in Parliament, only 58 party members, and nine ministers who had to respond to questions, were present in Lok Sabha at 11.10 am. At that time, Opposition benches were relatively full, with 90 MPs occupying two rows of benches. After an hour, the Treasury strength increased to 83 against the Opposition’s 81. A BJP MP, who was present in the House from 11 am till 1 pm “to respect the PM’s directive”, wondered at his party colleagues’ response. On Tuesday, addressing party MPs at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi took exception to their lean attendance in Parliament and warned that there would be changes if they don’t change themselves.
WHEN SAMAJWADI Party MP Jaya Bachchan reached the protest site where 12 suspended Rajya Sabha MPs were sitting on a dharna on Wednesday, she had a point to make. Putting on a red topi that she was carrying, Bachchan said: “Since the PM said red topi is a khatra (danger), let me put this on today.” She then asked a party MP, who was standing there, why he had not brought his red topi (worn by SP workers). She was referring to PM Narendra Modi’s remarks at an event in Gorakhpur on Tuesday. Targeting the SP, he said those wearing red caps were like a red alert for UP. Bachchan later told the protesters that she would bring red caps for everyone on Thursday. “Like the Prime Minister’s call of “Didi o Didi [referring to Mamata Banerjee, during the West Bengal election campaign) went wrong for his party, this line of red cap also would go against the BJP. It did not go down well at all,” Bachchan later told reporters.
UNION MINISTER Ashwini Vaishnaw, who was at the receiving end of Opposition MPs for replying in Hindi to questions in English during Question Hour last week, tried to bring in some light moments in House on Wednesday. When Question Hour started, he said: “Sir, I have 12 questions today. I feel that I have gone back to my UPSC exams days.” To this, Speaker Om Birla said: “This exam is tougher.” Later, when Odisha MP Saptagiri Sankar Ulaka raised a question, Vaishnaw, a Rajya Sabha MP from the state, sought the Speaker’s permission to reply in Oriya. Birla said he should have given a notice, but added: “You are from Odisha and Rajasthan.” Vaishnaw was born in Jodhpur.