NEW DELHI: The odd-even scheme of the Delhi government seems to have hit the Members of Parliament hard as they demanded exemption from it, while some were even 'caught' violating the rule.
Most of the MPs appeared to have made alternate arrangements as they used ferry service of parliament to commute, while not many used the air conditioned busses provided by the Delhi government. Among those who were found travelling in an even number car, despite being an odd day, were BJP MPs Paresh Rawal, Ashwani Kumar, Chaudhary Babulal, Prahlad Patel, Udit Raj, B.C. Khanduri, Uttar Pradesh BJP chief Keshav Prasad Maurya.
Rawal was quick to apologise for travelling by an even number car. Later he we tweeted his apology and uploaded a Rs 2000 challan receipt. "Made a serious blunder... Sorry to Arvind ji and Delhiites," the BJP MP tweeted.
Maurya said: "I am having one car. Will take care (tomorrow) Tuesday."
Some MPs contended that as they only had one car they didnot have any other option. While some other MPs car-pooled to arrive at Parliament House. BJP Rajya Sabha member Anil Dave took a bicycle, while AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi walked to parliament.
BJP MPs Ranjan Bhatt and Hari Om Singh Rathore availed the 'MP Special Bus Service' to reach Parliament, as did AAP MPs like Bhagwant Mann. Rajya Sabha MP B K Hariprasad said that he took the shuttle service today as his car was even numbered. "It is easier to take the parliament shuttle service rather than the Delhi government buses as they offer door to door service".
Apna Dal's Anupriya Patel said she also availed of the parliament shuttle service.
Inside the house, the issue led to MPs demanding exemption. Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said he has received several calls from Members who have expressed anguished over not being able to attend meetings in Parliament on time last week. At this, Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked the Parliamentary Affairs Ministry to discusss the issue with the Delhi government, stating that he was equally bothered at the Parliamentarians unable to discharge their responsibilities. "Members have a real problem here," he said.
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi promised to take up the issue with the concerned administrations.
The matter was raised by Naresh Agrawal of Samajwadi Party in the House. He said some of the MPs were even fined by the Delhi police today while coming to Parliament. They were caught with even number plates when only vehicles with odd number were allowed to ply on the city roads today.
Janata Dal-United (JD-U) member K.C. Tyagi said while the intention of the Delhi government is good, "they should exempt MPs".
Anand Sharma (Congress) said since most of the Delhi were from outside Delhi, they were facing difficulties commuting from the Airport to Parliament.
The issue also rocked the Lok Sabha with both the road rationing scheme and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal coming in for criticism. This created a ruckus for a while forcing Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to adjourn the house till lunch. MP Pappu Yadav accused Kejriwal of doing this to get cheap publicity. He even used harsh words from the Delhi CM.
Delhi Government said they will not be able to exempt MPs from the plan but will work to address their issues through public conveyance.
"There are just four days left and by the time any change in the notification is effected, the scheme will itself end," Delhi Transport minister Gopal Rai said said after a meeting with Vice President Hamid Ansari here.
Ansari mentioned about problems faced by some MPs who stay away from Parliament and do not have car-pooling option and cannot use the special buses meant for them.