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Congress raises issue of ministers not laying officials papers in Rajya Sabha

Chidambaram raised the issue when Parliamentary Affairs Minister V Muraleedharan was called to lay official papers on behalf of six of his ministerial colleagues.

By Newsd
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P Chidambaram

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Thursday raised the issue of ministers not being present in Rajya Sabha for laying of official listed papers.

Chidambaram raised the issue when Parliamentary Affairs Minister V Muraleedharan was called to lay official papers on behalf of six of his ministerial colleagues.

“We can understand that the parliamentary minister occasionally laying a paper on behalf of his colleagues who are unable to attend the House for some reason. But every day we find the parliamentary affairs minister lays the papers for half a dozen ministers.

”Those half a dozen ministers don’t respect RS. Every day it is happening, How can you do it,” he asked.

Deputy Chairman Harivansh said the matter was raised even on Wednesday and Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu had stated that the parliamentary affairs minister has been allowed to lay papers mentioned against the names of other ministers because of the Covid situation.

The practice started in the last session when working of the House was curtailed and MPs were seated in the lobbies as well as in Lok Sabha to allow for social distancing.

However, the House has reverted to its normal functioning hours and all members and ministers are present in the House now.

On Wednesday, Anand Sharma of Congress had stated that ”the rules clearly say that the papers will be laid by the concerned minister. Only when specific permission is taken, another colleague or the Minister for Parliamentary Affairs shall lay the papers”.

He said those ministers who are present in the House should not be given this luxury of not laying the papers. ”This is disrespecting the House,” he had said.

Naidu had responded to him saying the Chair allowed the parliamentary affairs minister to lay the papers mentioned against the names of other ministers because of the Covid situation.

”That has been announced,” he said.

When other Congress MPs tried to object to the continuing of the practice despite House resuming normal functioning, Naidu said, ”You are not supposed to comment on this. Your leader has brought it to my notice. Leave it there. Don’t stretch it too much. It has been already mentioned in the bulletin also.” PTI

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