New Delhi: Cracking the whip, an embarrassed
Congress will serve show cause ntoice to 13 party MPs who were
absent during voting on Constitution Amendment Bill on Lokpal
on Tuesday much to the annoyance of Sonia Gandhi.
"I will be certainly writing letters to them seeking an
explanation for their absence", Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters today after reports that an
angry Congress President has sought the list of erring
Bansal said that as many as 13 Congress MPs were absent
during the voting and some seven to eight members from the
allies. He said that two of the absentee Congress members had
sought prior permission from him.
Downplaying the absence of members, Bansal said that even
if all of them were present in the House, it would not have
helped in the passage of the Constitution Amendment bill.
"Even if all the 277 UPA members minus the Speaker were
present during voting, the bill still would have been
defeated", he said adding that as many as 285 members were
needed for the passage at that time when there were 420
members in the 543-member House.
A Constitution amendment bill requires the support of
two thirds of those present and voting and not less than a
Speaking separately, Personnel Minister V Narayansamy
disapproved of the absence of the members saying "all our MPs
have to be present when an important legislation is being
considered and voting is taking place".
Sources said party General Secretary Rahul Gandhi, who
had floated the idea of granting constitutional status to
Lokpal, is also furious after the bill failed to get through
in the Lok Sabha yesterday because of want of requisite
numbers. Lone member of Kerala Congress M in the Lok Sabha Jose K
Mani was not present.
Of the absentee MPs, six Congress members are from
Gujarat, including Union Minister Dinsha Patel who was at home
in connection with the marriage of his grand daughter.
Among others who were said to be absent were K Sudhakaran
(Kerala), Sanjay Bhoi (Orissa),Hamdullah Sayeed (Lakshadweep),
K Raj Gopal Reddy (Andhra Pradesh) and M Rajamohan Reddy.
Reddy is a supporter of YSR Congress leader Jaganmohan
Reddy and has already submitted his resignation to Lok Sabha
Speaker Meira Kumar.
Suresh Kalmadi, Congress Lok Sabha member from Pune, is
in Tihar jail in connection with Commonwealth Games mess and
former Union Minister A Raja of DMK in regard to the 2G scam.
Three MPs of DMK and two of Trinamool Congress--Kabir
Suman and Tapas Paul were also absent.
One of the absentee DMK MPs was Minister of state for
social Justice D Napoleon.
The sources said Sonia Gandhi was angry and has tasked
party MPs Girija Vyas and Sandeep Dikshit to prepare the list
and find out the reasons for the absence.
A show cause notice would be issued to the absentee MPs,
With regard to action against the absentee MPs of allies,
the sources said it was for the leadership of respective
parties to decide.