Odd-even hits MPs, rocks parliament

New Delhi, April 25 (IANS) The odd-even traffic scheme hit lawmakers and also rocked parliament on Monday, the first day of budget session part II, with some forgetful members violating the scheme while some MPs car-pooled to arrive at Parliament House. One MP cycled it, while AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi walked to parliament.

The issue also rocked the Lok Sabha with both the road rationing scheme and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal coming in for criticism. This created a ruckus for a while forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the house till lunch.

The issue reverberated in the Rajya Sabha too, as members demanded exemption from the odd-even scheme, stating that it was preventing them from executing their duties as members of parliament.

Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal, Uttar Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Keshav Prasad Maurya, BJP MPs Chaudhry Babulal, Udit Raj. B.C. Khanduri and Prahlad Patel were among others who violated the scheme.

Rawal realised his mistake when he reached parliament by travelling in his personal car with an even-number plate, and was immediately questioned by reporters.

“Yaar, galti ho gayi,” he said.

Later on, Rawal apologised to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for violating the scheme and said it was a “serious blunder”.

“Made a serious blunder… Sorry to Arvind ji and Delhiites,” the BJP MP tweeted.

Maurya, who was recently appointed BJP chief of Uttar Pradesh, said: “I am having one car. Will take care (tomorrow) Tuesday.”

However, some MPs with even number car plates travelled to parliament either by car pooling or by some other mode.

BJP Rajya Sabha member Anil Dave took a bicycle to reach parliament while Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MP Bhagwant Mann car-pooled with some MPs.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi walked to parliament, and raised questions on the traffic scheme.

“We are not from Delhi and come here only when parliament is in session. So, they should think over this. However, they claimed to have made some arrangements like bus but I didn’t find anything,” Owaisi told reporters.

The Delhi government had announced a special DTC bus service for MPs to reach parliament, but there were very few takers.

Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Pappu Yadav, who has been critical of the scheme, raised the issue during zero hour, stating that the measure has only added to people’s problems.

The traffic rationing has only sought to help CNG companies and bus manufacturers, alleged the Madhepura MP from Bihar.

Yadav also alleged that the new traffic system was launched by the Delhi government under Arvind Kejriwal only for achieving “cheap popularity”.

The issue was also raised in the Rajya Sabha with Samajwadi Party members criticising it.

The issue of odd-even had figured at an all-party meeting on Sunday too.

The issue was raised in the Rajya Sabha by Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal.

“Being an MP, it is our special privilege that we participate in the proceedings of the house,” Agrawal said.

“We get only one security pass, which is for one car. They (Delhi government) did not exempt MPs (from the odd-even) on purpose to insult them,” he alleged.

Congress leader Anand Sharma spoke up in support of the MP and said: “Parliament has reconvened today. Except for 10 members, all parliament members come from outside Delhi. Vehicles without security label cannot enter, and the parliament bus is not able to ferry all MPs. It (odd-even) is coming in the way of discharging their duties,” Sharma added.

“The house should decide when the house is sitting on how do members come? This issue needs to be addressed,” said Sharma.

Janata Dal-United (JD-U) member K.C. Tyagi said while the intention of the Delhi government is good, “they should exempt MPs”.

Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien agreed and said: “It is the government’s duty to facilitate discharge of duties of parliament. This has become an inconvenience for MPs in discharging their duty.”

The deputy chairman also observed that it delayed some meetings.

“I have been told that one committee was delayed for more than one hour because MPs could not reach,” he said.

“Why not the parliamentary affairs ministry take up the matter with the Delhi government or consider the suggestion that MPs should be exempt,” Kurien said.

Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad also said he had received complaints from MPs and suggested that MPs may be exempted from the odd-even scheme when parliament is in session.

To this, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said: “We will talk to the appropriate authorities; and we would not want any obstruction for the MPs in executing their duties.”



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