The move comes hours after Union Minister Bhupender Yadav hosted a tutorial for party lawmakers
BJP members held a walkout on Tuesday from the meeting of the Standing Committee on Information and Technology, chaired by top congressional leader Shashi Tharoor, saying the rules did not allow committee meetings to be held during that Parliament was in session. The committee is also expected to discuss the Pegasus spy case on Wednesday.
Hours before BJP MPs left the meeting, the new Union Environment and Labor Minister Bhupender Yadav called for an “informal” meeting of BJP members of the IT parliamentary group. Uncomfortably, the invitation to the meeting was also extended to CPI MP (M) and PR member Natarajan. “At around 1 pm, I received a call from Mr. Yadav’s office, saying that the minister wanted to meet. I was surprised, because I had not requested a meeting with him. I told the person who telephoned me but he insisted that I come at 2 pm to meet the minister, ”Natarajan said. The Hindu.
At 2 p.m., Mr. Natarajan went to Mr. Yadav’s room in Parliament and met him. “He asked me if you were a member of the IT committee?” I said yes, then he asked me which party I was from. When I told him I was from CPI (M), he apologized and said it was a meeting for BJP members only, ”Natarajan said.
At 4 pm, the standing IT committee met on the agenda: “To hear the points of view of people / actors / organizations within the framework of the examination of the subject” Examination of the functioning of the Council Central Film Certification Center (CBFC) “relating to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in the context of the Film (Amendment) Bill 2021”.
From the outset, BJP MP Nishikant Dubey, according to several sources, said that committee meetings cannot take place during the session of parliament. It was then pointed out to him that five other committee meetings had taken place on Tuesday. He then said that the meeting’s agenda was not notified on time. Raising these objections, he left the meeting with five other BJP deputies.
Later, speaking to CNN TV station IBN, Mr Dubey said, “We haven’t received the agenda. And when Parliament is in session, our job is to lead Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. Holding a meeting at such a time is not appropriate. The president arbitrarily executes his own mandate.
Mr Natarajan said that it was only after the BJP deputies walked out that he realized that the meeting called by Mr Yadav was to organize the protest.
“This clearly shows that the BJP high command decides how a member should behave in a standing committee which is a non-partisan platform,” Natarajan said. The Hindu contacted Mr. Yadav for comment, but questions sent to him remained unanswered.
The BJP’s withdrawal on Tuesday precedes another meeting of the IT Standing Committee scheduled for Wednesday on “Citizens Data Security and Privacy” in which the Pegasus cyberattack will also be discussed. Officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Department of Telecommunications were summoned. Sources said they would be asked pointed questions about the revelations about the government’s alleged involvement in the Pegasus cyberattack.
After the departure of the BJP deputies, the discussion on the agenda began. Filmmaker and politician Kamal Hasan, Chairman of the Central Board of Film Certification Prasoon Joshi and other stakeholders testified before the committee.