New Delhi, Aug 8 :
On a day when the Rajya Sabha witnessed an uproar over his continued absence, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar Friday broke his silence, saying it was a family emergency that kept him away from attending the parliament session.
Tendulkar said he wanted to attend the session after coming back from England but had to be with his family since his elder brother Ajit had to undergo an immediate bypass operation.
“My absence in Delhi has been discussed a lot. When I was back from England, everyone was discussing about my absence in Delhi. But my elder brother Ajit had to undergo an emergency by-pass operation and I had to be with him. So it was a family emergency that kept me away,” Tendulkar said addressing the medal winners of the 2014 Commonwealth Games here at the Vigyan Bhavan.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju, Olympic silver medallist and BJP Lok Sabha member Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, and Anurag Thakur, also a BJP parliamentarian, were present at the event organised by the sports ministry.
Tendulkar and actor Rekha, who were both nominated by the then Congress-led government, were discussed in the Rajya Sabha for their continued absence from the upper house.
But Rajya Sabha deputy chairman P.J. Kurien said both members have not violated any rule.
Kurien said both the members have not been absent for more than 60 days and, therefore, have not violated any rule.
“As per the rules (Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business), if a member is absent from meetings of either house of parliament without permission for a period of 60 days, the house may declare his/her seat vacant,” he said.
“The absence of Tendulkar is around 40 days at present and that of Rekha is less than that. In both the cases, there has been no violation of the provisions,” he added.
Both the members were nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012. While Tendulkar has attended just three sittings so far, Rekha has been present at seven.
Tendulkar has not attended a single meeting this year. His last appearance was on Dec 13, 2013, Kurien said. Rekha last attended the house Feb 19.
Kurien’s response came after Communist Party of India-Marxist member P. Rajeev raised the question of Tendulkar and Rekha’s lack of participation in the meetings of the upper house.