Odd-Even Not For Us Says Lawmakers
NEW DELHI: Lawmakers across political lines suspended their differences while objecting in one voice to odd-even restrictions on them in Delhi.
“Lawmakers should be exempted from the rule just for the Parliament session,” Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said in the Rajya Sabha, where the odd-even rule was discussed.Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi promised to “discuss and resolve the matter with relevant authorities.”
As the Budget session resumed today, lawmakers attending Parliament faced the odd-even ban for the first time. The rule, which bans private cars on alternate days, is in place till April 30.
Arvind Kejriwal’s government in Delhi had arranged a special bus to take lawmakers to Parliament but it went virtually empty as most preferred to bring their own vehicle. One member decided to play it safe and cycled to Parliament.
But many lawmakers ended up violating the rule as they arrived in cars with even number plates on an odd-numbered date. Only one of them was apologetic – Paresh Rawal of the BJP.”Made a serious blunder… Sorry to Arvind ji and Delhiites,” said Mr Rawal, who was fined.
In the Rajya Sabha, Mr Azad said parliamentarians must be kept out of the rule as “taxis cannot come into Parliament.”Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party also complained that he found it difficult to reach Parliament because of the odd-even rationing.
Among the lawmakers who did follow the rule was Ramesh Bidhuri of the BJP, who, however, did not miss the chance to quip: “Unlike Kejriwal, I follow the law.”
The AAP government said if lawmakers had made a mistake and apologised, they could be pardoned but those who violated the odd-even rule routinely would be fined.”It is an opportunity for our Parliamentarians to lead by example,” said Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai.