Gandhinagar: Lok Sabha members from Gujarat seem to be a laid-back lot. This message comes out loud and clear from the fact that they collectively rank a poor 16th in all-India ranking of MPs in attending Parliament.
A study carried out by Delhi-based parliamentary research NGO, PRS Legislative Research, of all state and union territory MPs revealed thatGujarat had the dubious distinction of being among the leading states whose MPs bunked the parliament the most. The state MPs’ attendance ratio in Parliament was only 69 per cent during the 14th Lok Sabha.
Chandigarh, Pondicherry, Manipur, Mizoram and Himachal Pradesh bagged the top five ranks with attendance percentages of 95 per cent, 94 per cent, 93 per cent, 89 per cent and 86 per cent respectively.
Among the large and leading states, Kerala MPs stood at 8th rank with 79 per cent attendance, Bihar and West Bengal at 11th rank with 75 per cent attendance, Haryana at 12th rank with 74 per cent attendance, Rajasthan at 13th rank with 72 per cent attendance. Tamil Nadu stood at 15th rank with 71 per cent attendance.
The only consolation for Gujarat MPs can be that their attendance was at par with the national average of 69 per cent.
Gujarat MPs also performed poorly in participating in parliamentary debates. They stood at 14th rank among all states in participation in debates, having participated in only 28 debates which is even lower then the national average of 30 debates.Pondicherry MPs stood first with participation in 151 debates, Arunachal Pradesh second with 74 debates, Kerala third with 67 debates, Chandigarh stood fourth with 63 debates and Orissa was at the fifth slot with participation in 50 debates.
Gujarat MPs also performed less than the national average in the average number of private member bills presented. The national average is 0.6 whereas Gujarat MPs’ average remained at 0.5. Chandigarh stood first with an average of six, Uttarakhand second with 4.8 and Kerala third with 2.5.
However, Gujarat MPs performed fairly well in asking questions in Parliament. They stood fifth with an average of 249 questions. Andaman and Nicobar stood first with an average 425 questions, while the national average was 169 questions.
Now let us take a look at the Gujarat MPs’ individual performance in the five years of14th Lok Sabha’s in terms of attendance in Parliament, participation in debate, private bills presented and questions asked. Congress MP from Amreli, Virji Thumar topped with 93 per cent attendance, Congress’s Sabarkatha MP Madhusudan Mistry ranked second at 90 per cent attendance and Congress MP of Banaskantha, Harisinh Chavda ranked third with 88 per cent attendance.
In debate, Madhusudan Mistry (100 debates) ranked first, BJP MP from Kutch, Pushpadan Gadhvi (83 debates) stood second and BJP MP from Vadodara, Jayaben Thakkar (72 debates) stood third among all MPs from the state. Surprisingly, BJP MP from Surat, Kashiram Rana, was the only MP from the state to have presented private members bills, having moved 12 bills. No other MP from Gujarat presented any private bill.
In raising questions in Parliament, Congress MP from Valsad, Kishanbhai Patel (998 questions) stood first; Congress MP of Junagadh, Jasubhai Barad (911 questions) stood second; and Congress MP from Amreli, Virji Thumar (559 questions) stood third in raising questions.
It is to be noted that the data of ministers (Shankarsinh Vaghela, Naranbhai Rathwa and Dinsha Patel) and Leader of Opposition (LK Advani) are notmaintained due to parliamentary provisions.
Chakshu Roy, analyst, PRS Legislative Research, said, “MPs keep the government accountable, are the voice of their constituents in Parliament and make laws for the country. This is what we elect them for. It is, therefore, important for people to know about the work that their elected representatives do in Parliament.
Kapil Dave, February 23, 2009,DNAINDIA.COM