MPs demand exemption from Capital’s odd-even rule
The Delhi Government move to introduce road rationing through odd-even scheme for the second time has irked parliamentarians. As second half of Parliament’s Budget session resumed on Monday, MPs cutting across the party line jointly demanded exemption from the traffic rule to attend the House.
Delhi’s AAP government enforced the second phase of the odd-even traffic rule for two weeks starting April 15. There is provision of Rs 2,000 fine on violating the norms. The opposition of odd-even scheme by BJP members was strongly contested by AAP member Bhagwant Mann.
Even though the Delhi government arranged six air conditioned buses to ferry the MPs to Parliament, very few availed of the service. BJP MPs Ranjan Bhatt and Hari Om Singh Rathore used the ‘MP Special Bus Service’, while Paresh Rawal didn’t.
In the Rajya Sabha, Naresh Agrawal from SP made a strong pitch for exempting MPs from the scheme as has been done for some other sections, a view that found resonance among most parties as well as Deputy Chairman of the House PJ Kurien. Taking a jibe at AAP government, Agrawal said days were not far when rules will be framed to prescribe “A and B will walk on the road on a particular day and C and D some other day. Only women will use the road one day and the next day only men.”
JD(U)’s KC Tyagi, while supporting the demand for exemption of MPs’ vehicles, said that criticising the scheme or Delhi government on this pretext was not correct as it had indeed brought down pollution and has been commended even by some foreign countries.
Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress deputy leader Anand Sharma backed the views saying the scheme was coming in the way of discharging their duties. Kurien also supported the sentiments noting that the government’s duty was to help MPs discharge their duty in Parliament.