The Aam Aadmi Party’s best efforts to put lawmakers into following its odd-even rule on the first day of the Parliament session elicited little response. A Member of Parliament Special Bus Service, launched by the Delhi government, to drop lawmakers to Parliament on Monday morning had few takers.Taking into account the Parliament session and the MPs who haven’t been exempted from the odd-even scheme, the Delhi government had on Sunday announced that six air-conditioned special buses will be available to ferry MPs on Monday morning.<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>However, only BJP MPs Ranjan Bhatt and Hari Om Singh Rathore availed the bus service, which was operational from 9am to 11am and 5.30pm to 8pm.Looking the poor response, the AAP government decided to withdraw four of the six buses from the services from Tuesday, retaining just two for the lawmakers.Several many lawmakers, mostly from the BJP, decided to flout the rule. BJP MP Paresh Rawal violated the odd-even rule by reaching the House in his even-numbered car.He later tweeted, “Made a serious blunder by travelling in an odd number car to Parliament … Sorry to Arvind ji n Delhiite…(sic).” The BJP MP also tweeted a challan copy and said he has paid a fine for violating the odd-even rule.According to Delhi government officials, a help desk has been set up in Parliament premises to help lawmakers in availing the bus service.”We got to know that the help desk is receiving several queries on out bus services. We are trying our best, now it is for the MPs to follow the rule,” said an official.The official added that some security personnel will also be deployed in the buses, considering the security of the MPs.Cutting across party lines, lawmakers came together to object the odd-even restrictions on them and cried they should be spared of it.”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.Azad said parliamentarians must be exempted from the rule as taxis cannot come into Parliament.Seeking exemption from the rule, Naresh Agarwal of the Samajwadi Party complained that he found it difficult to reach Parliament because of the rule.Agrawal alleged the Delhi government had deliberately exempted the MPs to insult them and “to show the their position.”He sought to know why was the Centre silent’ on the issue. Congress member Rajiv Shukla said MPs should be ‘exempted’ from the scheme.In the argument, Pappu Yadav, another MP, described Arvind Kejriwal as “a psychopath chief minister.”Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad and Congress Deputy Leader Anand Sharma backed the views saying the scheme was coming in the way of discharging their duties.Even Janata Dal-United’s K C Tyagi, supported the demand for exemption of MPs’ vehicles. He, however, did not criticise the scheme saying it had indeed brought down pollution and has been commended even by some foreign countries.Deputy Chairman of the House P J Kurien said the matter needed to be taken up with the Delhi government and to which Naqvi said he will discuss and resolve the matter with relevant authorities.However, a few lawmakers did follow the rule, BJP lawmaker Ramesh Bidhuri being one of them. However, he took a dig at Kejriwal saying that unlike the chief minister, he follows rules.’Parliamentarians should lead by example’The AAP government, on the other hand, refused to spare MPs from the rule, given that there were few days left for the formula to get over.”It is an opportunity for our Parliamentarians to lead by example,” said Delhi Transport Minister Gopal Rai, adding that they will have to be pay fines if they routinely violate the rule.Rai said the Delhi government has ensured that the lawmakers are facilitated and do not face any problem because of the scheme.The President, The Prime Minister, The Vice-President, union ministers, the Chief Justice of India, judges of high courts, women among others are exempted from the scheme.
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