Naidu expresses concern over members' absence

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New Delhi : Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday expressed concern over members' absence from the House during passage of a Bill that accords constitutional status to the OBC Commission.

"Yesterday (Monday), I was just thinking and also calculating. We were exactly a little above the mark. That's all. Otherwise, you could not have got it approved . Please keep that in mind," he said.

The Rajya Sabha on Monday passed the Constitution (123rd Amendment) Bill, 2018 granting constitutional status to the National Commission for Backward Classes.

All 156 members present in the House voted for the Bill. Te present strength of the House is 244.

Terming the Bill historic, he said: "I also felt very happy. Even I tweeted also about giving constitutional status to the OBC Commission. On such a Constitutional Amendment where there is unanimity, where there is concern, we just scraped through," he said.

On such matters, parties should caution its members by issuing whips and directing them to be there in time and also vote.

"If somebody takes note of it and then write some commentary, it will be a sad commentary on our functioning. Please take note, whenever there is important legislation in Parliament, be present in large numbers so that a message goes to the society," he remarked.

The Chairman also took strong note of the ministers making statement on behalf of their colleagues.

"I will not allow any statement made by any minister on behalf of any other," he said.

Taking note of the members coming late after the proceedings start, he requested them to be punctual.