Jairam’s letter on lobbying MPs sent to parliament’s ethics panel

Thursday, December 30, 2010

NEW DELHI - Vice President and Rajya Sabha chairperson Mohammed Hamid Ansari Thursday referred Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s complaint on parliamentarians pushing for certain projects to the upper house’s ethics panel.

Ramesh in his letter to Ansari and Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar earlier this week had written that MPs approach him with matters of companies they are directly involved with, and companies in other constituencies and in their own constituencies.

“The MPs should be dissuaded from meeting officials directly as such meetings were often used to put pressure on the ministry,” the letter said.

According to sources, Ansari has now referred the letter to the Ethics Committee of the Rajya Sabha Thursday.

“The MPs approach me on behalf of the companies they run or with which they are closely associated. This is a blatant violation of norms. I have tried to discourage this but have not entirely succeeded,” said the minister’s letter.

Ramesh said he also finds objectionable when MPs approach him pleading for or against projects that are neither in their state, nor in their constituency.

He said he has no objections over representations from MPs regarding projects in their constituencies but he requested the speaker to take note of the other two categories of MPs as serious ethics issued are involved.

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