Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda has not asked a single question in the 15th Lok Sabha so far. The five-year term is ending in about three months.
The supremo of the Janata Dal (S), now representing Hassan as an MP, has surprised political observers by posing no queries through this tumultous term.
What is not so surprising is that Ramya (Divya Spandana) and D K Suresh, first-time MPs elected only six months ago, have not asked any questions either. They have a valid excuse: they are still finding their feet.
“As a former prime minister, I can’t ask starred or unstarred questions,” Deve Gowda said, in his defence. (A question listed with an asterix or star gets a verbal answer in parliament. An unstarred question gets a written reply from the minister concerned, and is open to supplementary queries).
Deve Gowda explained that queries for Question Hour (the first hour in parliament) are selected through a ballot. “Since this is so short, I don’t know if my turn will come,” he said.
Instead, he explained, he had participated in debates of national importance.
Unlike Deve Gowda, Bijapur MP Ramesh Jigajinagi has not participated in any debate.
There are other interesting sidelights to Karnataka’s MPs: BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa’s son B Y Raghavendra holds the record for bunking parliamentary sessions. Some MPs score well. Haveri MP Shivakumar Udasi stands first among the state’s 28 MPs in attending parliament, according to information gleaned from the Lok Sabha website.
Elections are coming up in about three months, and parliament is likely to meet only one or two times before that.
Since June 2009, when the present Lok Sabha came into existence, it has conducted 15 sessions---budget, monsoon and winter.
Three MPs---D V Sadananda Gowda, H D Kumaraswamy and N Cheluvaraswamy---resigned in the middle of the term, necessiating by-elections in their constituencies. The Congress wrested all three seats from rival parties.
Attendance details of union ministers are not available as they enjoy exemption from signing.
The national average of attendance is 76 per cent and Karnataka MPs score a significantly lower 68 per cent. Udasi has attended 88.54 per cent of all sessions, and he is followed by H N Ananthkumar and Ramesh Jigajinagi with 86.31 per cent and 83.12 per cent respectively.
Here is the attendance percentage of the other MPs: Shivaramegowda-78, P C Gaddigoudar and N Dhruvanarayan-77, Ananth Kumar Hegde-73, P C Mohan, G S Basavaraj and Nalin Kumar Kateel 70, J Shantha-56, G M Siddesh and D B Chandre Gowda-58, H D Deve Gowda, Janardhan Swamy-60, A H Vishwanath-61, Sanna Pakirappa-66, Suresh Angadi 67, N Dharam Singh-68, and Ramesh Katti-69.
Newly elected MPs Suresh and movie star Ramya have 100 and 84 per cent attendance respectively.
Udasi has participated in 85 debates, the highest for any MP from Karnataka.
Provide Details of Working Days: HDK
H D Kumaraswamy, the former MP from Ramanagara who skipped almost all Lok Sabha sessions, defended himself saying he had saved the government a lot of money by not claiming his travel and other allowances.
He suggested the Lok Sabha website should provide details of how many days parliament functioned without disruption.
D’gere MP Siddeshwar has emerged number one among 28 LS members by asking 835 questions. While Sanna Pakirappa has raised 769 questions, Chandre Gowda has raised 692. Others who asked questions are: Ananthkumar-217, Suresh Angadi-327, Basavaraj-161, Dhruvanarayan-604, Gaddigoudar-387, Ananth Kumar Hegde-553, Prahlad Joshi-621, Kateel-242, Ramesh Katti-122, P C Mohan-237, J Shantha-507, Shivaramegowda-257, Dharam Singh-18, Jayaprakash Hegde-9, Janardhan Swamy-5, Udasi-218, A H Vishwanath-310 and Raghavendra-118 and Jigajinagi-19.