BJP fails to convince all NDA MPs to surrender salary for non-functioning of Parliament
06 April 2018
The BJP has failed in convincing some of its own leaders and key partners in backing its move to get all NDA MPs to surrender their salaries and allowances because of non-functioning of parliament.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar had announced that all NDA MPs would surrender their salaries and allowances for the 23 days of the second half of the Budget session, much of which was disrupted because of opposition protests.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, a Rajya Sabha MP, refused to toe the party line. “I went to the House every day and if it did not run, it was not my fault,” he told reporters.
Also claiming to be a representative of the President, he said he would not forgo his salary until the head of the state asked him to do so. “I am the President's representative, until he says so how can I say I'll not take my salary,” he said.
Some NDA members such as union minister Upendra Kushwaha, who is the leader of the Rashtriya Loktantrik Samata Party, was unaware of NDA's decision.
And the Shiv Sena, which with its 18 MPs is the second-largest constituent of the NDA, has also flatly refused to toe the government’s line. According to Arvind Sawant, an MP from Mumbai, the BJP did not consult with the Sena before taking the decision.
“This is not a question of salary,” he said. “We as MPs have been doing our work. Even if Parliament was not functioning, we have held meetings with ministries to address the problems faced by our people.”
The NDA currently has 314 MPs in the Lok Sabha and 80 in the Rajya Sabha, and their total salary and allowances add up to Rs3.66 crore for 23 days.
The second half of the budget session ends on Friday, but the entire session has been a washout. The government got five bills passed in the Lok Sabha, including the Finance Bill, which was passed without any discussion, through voice vote.