He told them that attending parliament is their basic responsibility and added wryly that he can do a lot of things but cannot be present there on their behalf. Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar spoke about incidents of lack of quorum in both the Houses, including yesterday, prompting Modi to say that it should not be about “requesting the MPs to be present” as it is their basic responsibility.
BJP members said that the prime minister told them that it did not matter to him if they were in the Central Hall, a place to host joint sittings of parliament where MPs often meet for informal conversation, as what is important is that they should be inside the Houses. “I can call any of you any time,” Modi was quoted as saying by a member. He added that Modi was visibly unhappy over absenteeism.
As representatives of the people of their constituency, it is their job to attend the House proceedings, he said. In his briefing, Kumar said Modi also laid out the “road map” for the party as it gears up to celebrate its foundation day on April 6 and Dalit icon Bhim Rao Ambedkar’s birth anniversary on April 14.
All MPs, ministers and party functionaries will participate in these meetings, Kumar told reporters. Party functionaries will highlight the government’s achievements, the BJP’s upward journey and will be shown a video about this.
Modi asked them to give at least one hour daily for his cleanliness drive, which is aimed at making India’s streets cleaner. Party members in the evening will take out a procession carrying Ambedkar’s photographs. The prime minister also asked them to reach out to small traders and workers, like washermen, to popularise ‘Bhim’ app, a digital payment medium, saying it can help in making them financially more capable.