All our lives, we have been taught to believe that attendance and punctuality are the key to college and career prospects. But then, how about applying the same yardstick to our elected/ nominated representatives in the nation’s bicameral Parliament?
So, how are the members of Parliament performing in the house in terms of attendance, participation in debates, questions asked, among many others?
The average attendance of MPs is 80 per cent in the Lok Sabha and 78 per cent in the Rajya Sabha. But recently, reports had emerged about former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and veteran actor Rekha having fallen prey to the celebrity MP syndrome and their failure to electrify Parliament with their stellar performances—with 7 per cent and 5 per cent attendance respectively—much to the disappointment of the fans.
That brings us to a question: who is the most active and attentive MP in our country?
Bhairon Prasad Mishra, a lesser-known BJP MP from Banda in UP has the honours. Mishra has not bunked the House for even a single day, and has also participated in the most number of debates ever since his entry in to the Lower House on Sept 1, 2014. The 62-year-old MP has taken part in 1,468 debates, which is far more than the number of days he has been an MP, 982 days. Mishra has also posed 376 queries and tabled nine private member bills.
“I witnessed a lot of persecution in society during the Emergency, which made me angry. But at the same time, I decided to fight for those who were ill-treated,” he says.
Mishra’s career took off with his election as the chief of a district cooperative bank and the deputy chairman of the Bundelkhand Development Committee.
Mishra joined electoral politics in 1993 when he contested the UP Assembly election as a BJP candidate and defeated the BSP’s Ram Kripal Singh by 27,479 votes.
“At a very young age, I discovered that I wanted to do something for society. Social service became my way of life and even now I continue to be a part of many development committees,” Mishra said.
Bhairon Prasad Mishra has strong views about MPs who find it difficult to motivate themselves to attend Parliament. “Such people should not be nominated for election,” he says.
Mishra says there is a lot of work for him to do in his constituency. “Banda has been one of the most backward districts due to lack of cultivable land. My aim is to improve irrigation through schemes like the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sichai Yojya which helps expand cultivable land by reducing water wastage and preserving water through various technologies. A lot has improved but there is a long way to go. I want every area to have enough water for irrigation so that families don’t have to move to other cities for employment.” he says.
Attendance (%) of nominated MPs in Rajya Sabha
- Sambhaji Sahu Chhatrapati: 100
- Subramanian Swamy: 93
- K T S Tusli: 89
- Swapan Dasgupta: 87
- Roopa Ganguly: 86
- K Parasaran: 82
- Anu Aga: 70
- Suresh Gopi: 67
- Narendra Jadhav: 64
- Mary Kom: 60
- Sachin Tendulkar: 7
- Rekha: 5
Which party does better in Lok Sabha?
In terms of attendance (90% and above)
BJP: 137 MPs
Congress: 13 MPs
BJD: 8 MPs
TDP: 4 MPs
Shiv Sena: 3 MPs
In terms of questions asked (500 questions and above)
Shiv Sena: 7 MPs
BJP: 6 MPs
Congress: 5 MPs
NCP: 3 MPs (Also has the highest by Supriya Sule)
AIADMK: 3 MPs
In terms of debates (100 debates and above)
BJP: 30 MPs (also has the highest by Bhairon Prasad Mishra)
CPI: 7 MPs
Congress: 4 MPs
BJD: 3 MPs
Shiv Sena: 3 MPs
Most active woman MP
In terms of overall performance, Supriya Sule of NCP is the most active MP with 95% attendance, 69 debates and 788 queries which is the highest among female MPs. She has also tabled 12 private member bills which is again the highest.