NEW DELHI: More than half of Rajya Sabha MPs remained absent most of the time during the 5-hour-long programme to mark the 250th session of the Upper House of Parliament on Monday.
Most of the MPs attended the House when the 5-hour-long programme started with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address, but the number of Rajya Sabha lawmakers gradually decreased after the Prime Minister left the House, whose current strength stands at 238 (as per the Rajya Sabha website).
Several Rajya Sabha MPs expressed concern over their colleagues' apathy to attend the historic event organised to discuss the Rajya Sabha's role in Indian polity and reforms needed to make the Upper House more effective.
A Rajya Sabha MP on the condition of anonymity, said, "This is very sad for us. Our colleagues were not with us on such a historic moment. They did not take it very seriously."
"We always say in public that this is the temple of democracy but we are not respecting it on such a historic moment," he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh said that cities were going to be destroyed due to climate change and expressed concerns that the issue does not figure in the discussion of the Parliament.
"We need to discuss serious issues," he said.
He stressed the need to hold discussions on the evaluation of social media, safe driverless car technology and dwindling resources.
Harivansh also called upon the members to honour the values of Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of 150th birth anniversary of Bapu.
Speaking to media before the commencement of the Winter Session, which will run till December 13, Prime Minister Modi said that Parliament should witness quality debates and open discussions.