BJP asks Rajya Sabha MPs to be present in House

With a united Opposition looking to corner the government in Rajya Sabha on demonetisation, the BJP on Saturday issued a whip to its members, asking them to be present in the House for three days starting Monday. The ruling NDA lacks a majority in the Rajya Sabha and BJP believes that a maximum presence of its members would be required in case of any voting.

Sharp clashes have been witnessed in the Upper House in the last two days after Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad made certain comments linking Uri terror attack casualties to the deaths during demonetisation crisis. Following Azad’s remarks senior government ministers launched a sharp attack on the Congress leader with Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar calling it an insult to martyrs and M Venkaiah Naidu described it as “anti-national”, and demanding an apology.

On another side, Opposition wants that Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be present in the House, during the discussion on the demonetisation issue. “The party has issue whip for three days November 21 to November 23 asking all its MPs in Rajya Sabha to be present in the House,” a source said.

With political battle heating up over the demonetisation issue in and outside Parliament, BJP’s top brass has also asked its MPs to publicise benefits of the demonetisation and also to counter the Opposition’s charges against it. BJP’s Parliamentary Party office has given all the MPs, including those of its allies, a compilation of the RBI’s and Finance Ministry’s communication over demonetisation so that they could use the information to inform the masses and counter the opposition’s points, sources said.
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