Ruling India lawmakers hit wrong button in vote bungle

Ruling India lawmakers hit wrong button in vote bungle
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) arrives at Parliament with Ministers of Parliamentary Affairs, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi (L), Venkaiah Naidu (2L), Rajiv Pratap Rudy (3L) and Jitender Singh (2R) in New Delhi on April 20, 2015.

NEW DELHI - A group of lawmakers from India's ruling party were given a dressing down in front of their peers in parliament after they accidently voted against a key government bill.

The 12 lawmakers from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) hit the red button instead of the green in the lower house of parliament on Wednesday during voting on a tax reform bill.

A visibly upset parliamentary affairs minister Pratap Rudy was seen rushing over to the confused MPs, before giving them instructions on how to use the machines, the Press Trust of India said.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley urged the speaker to allow a revote on a clause of the goods-and-services tax (GST) bill as the opposition heckled the chastised MPs from the benches, the news agency said.

A single nationwide sales tax is a key part of Modi's reform programme one year after he stormed to power on a pledge to revive the economy.

It is intended to transform the country into a "seamless" market, boosting economic growth and cutting the cost of doing business.

But the government's efforts to pass key bills through parliament have been frustrated in the upper house where the BJP lacks a majority.

The government eventually on Wednesday passed the GST bill in the lower house, where the BJP and its allies have the numbers, but it now faces a struggle in the upper house.

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