New Delhi, April 25:
Rajya Sabha members on Monday demanded exemption from the odd-even scheme, stating that it is preventing them from executing their duties as members of parliament.
The issue was raised by Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal when the house met post-lunch.
“Being an MP, it is our special privilege that we participate in the proceedings of the house,” Agrawal said.
“We get only one security pass, which is for one car. They (Delhi government) did not exempt the MPs (from the odd-even) on purpose to insult them,” he alleged.
Agrawal also said that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and member of the upper house Vijay Goel got a challan when he protested and had to pay a fine of Rs.3,500 instead of Rs.2,000.
“I don’t know why the central government is keeping quiet,” he added.
Congress leader Anand Sharma spoke up in support of the MP and said: “Parliament has reconvened today. Except for 10 members, all parliament members come from outside Delhi. Vehicles without security label cannot enter and parliament bus is not able to ferry all MPs. It (odd-even) is coming in the way of discharging their duties,” Sharma said.
“The house should decide when the house is sitting on how do members come? This issue needs to be addressed,” said Sharma.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) member K.C. Tyagi said while the intention of the Delhi government is good, “they should exempt MPs”.
Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien agreed and said: “It is the government’s duty to facilitate discharge of duties of parliament. This has become an inconvenience for MPs in discharging their duty.”
The deputy chairman also observed that it delayed some meetings.
“I have been told that one committee was delayed for more than one hour because MPs could not reach,” he said.
“Why not the parliamentary affairs ministry take up the matter with the Delhi government or consider the suggestion that MPs should be exempted,” Kurien said.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also said he had received complaints from MPs and suggested that MPs may be exempted from the odd-even scheme when parliament is in session.
To this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “We will talk to the appropriate authorities; and we would not want any obstruction for the MPs in executing their duties.” (IANS)