BJP president Amit Shah has taken a serious view of party members not attending the Rajya Sabha despite a whip and will seek a written explanation from the absentee MPs, party leaders said on Tuesday.
Shah made his displeasure clear at the BJP parliamentary party meeting, a day after the government faced an embarrassing situation in the Upper House with a united opposition pushing some changes to the Constitution amendment bill on backward classes.
The BJP chief has asked party MPs to be present in both Houses during the session and told them "not to repeat"(such conduct), Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said.
"When the party issues a whip, members must be present in the House. The party president has taken a serious view of the absence of members. He said it should not have happened and must not be repeated," Kumar said.
"The absentee MPs will be asked to give their explanation in writing," added a senior party leader on the condition of anonymity.
He said their absence despite a party whip asking them to ensure their presence was a serious matter. The opposition-sponsored amendments were passed by 74 to52 votes.
The BJP's strength in the house is 56, while the ruling block enjoys the support of 88 members, including 10JD(U) MPs. A BJP MP present in the meeting said Shah wondered if the absentee MPs should be named as the party, including prime minister Narendra Modi, has repeatedly stressed on the need for their presence in Parliament.
He also referred to some votes that turned out to be invalid during the presidential poll and asked them to ensure that they cast their votes properly during the vice presidential election. Modi did not attend the meeting as he is in Assam to review the flood crisis.