Representatives at Work

Rahul Gandhi often crops up in the debate over the next prime minister. But if statistics are to be considered the scion of Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty has a long way to go. The Amethi MP has attended only 24 out of the 85 days that the Parliament was in session between May 2011 and May 2012. His attendance is a dismal 42 per cent. When in session he raised one topic of debate and asked no questions.
She has become proactive recently, but Sonia Gandhi does not have an impressive record either. She attended 34 days of the Parliament, initiated one debate but asked no questions. She was out of the country for medical treatment for some time. This was reported in ‘Representative at Work’ — a report on the third year performance of the 15th Lok Sabha, prepared by an NGO ‘Mass for Awareness’.
But the Gandhis did not have the lowest attendance. Worst that them is cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu. The Bharatiya Janata Party MP attended only 16 days of Parliament sessions where he initiated three debates and asked 99 questions
Janata Dal-Secular’s H D Kumaraswamy also attended only 16 days, raised two debates but asked no questions.
While his attendance is a poor 40 per cent, his father H D Deve Gowda has a 68 per cent attendance in the Parliament. The former PM however raised no questions.
Former telecom minister A Raja has attended only four sittings since he spent most of his time in Tihar jail after his arrest in connection to the 2G scam. Pune MP Suresh Kalmadi, who was also jailed for his role in the Commonwealth Games, attended Parliament for 30 days.
Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav showed up on 31 days.
On the other hand, BJP veteran L. K. Advani boasts of a 100 per cent attendance. During his presence in the Parliament he initiated 30 debates. The others with a high attendance percentage are Congress MPs Nirmal Khatri, P. L. Punia and J. P. Agarwal and AIADMK member M. Thambidurai.
The ‘Representatives at Work’ report states that the biggest protests seen in Parliament were during the price rise issue, the CAG report on coal block allocation, the debate over Foreign Direct Investment among other issues which also included the resignation of P. Chidambaram and the Lokpal Bill.


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