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BJP president Amit Shah has taken a serious view of the absence of party members from the Rajya Sabha despite a whip and the absentee MPs are likely to be asked for an explanation. Shah made his displeasure clear at the BJP parliamentary party meeting today, some MPs present there said, a day after the government suffered an embarrassment in the House when a united opposition ensured the passage of amendments to a Constitution amendment bill on backward classes. The opposition-sponsored amendments were passed by 74 to 52 votes. The BJP's strength alone is 56 while the ruling block enjoys the support of 88 members, counting 10 JD(U) MPs. "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," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar said. 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 the votes during the presidential poll which turned out to be invalid and asked them to ensure that they cast votes properly during the vice presidential election. Modi did not attend the meeting as in Assam to review the flood crisis there.