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Sinha misses House again

New Delhi, Dec. 11: The absence of health minister Shatrughan Sinha and some other MPs again embarrassed the Centre today in the Lok Sabha.

Sinha was found missing during question hour and some other MPs gave the House a miss in the evening during a discussion on supplementary demands for grants.

Speaker Manohar Joshi agreed to speak to Sinha after his frequent absence came under heavy fire.

Since the winter session started, Sinha has often drawn flak for his frequent absence. Today, Raghunath Jha of the Samata Party, a BJP ally, and the Samajwadi Party’s Akhilesh Singh raised the issue in the House.

“Members have raised this issue a number of times and I have asked the government to ensure the minister is present in the House,” Joshi said. “I will personally speak to the minister.”

In the evening, Congress leader Shivraj Patil protested against the absence of members.

Patil took a dig at the Centre and said it was not his party’s responsibility to ensure completion of legislative business.

During the day, the Rajya Sabha passed a Bill to curb female foeticide through stringent measures.

Minister of state for health A. Raja, in Sinha’s absence, said the legislation intended to bring about social change in the country.

The Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Amendment Bill, 2002, was passed by a voice vote.

The diagnostic technique is often used to determine the sex of an unborn child, and thus exploited to encourage female foeticide.

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