CHENNAI: Nine parliamentarians who stood out with their debates and interventions in both Houses were honoured with the Sansad Ratna award.
Seniors like five-time BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab from Cuttack, and RSP’s three-time MP, N K Premachandran, from Kollam, were among the recipients.
The rest four from Lok Sabha are first timers, all from Maharashtra — Shrirang Appa Barne (Shiv Sena, Maval), Rajeev Shankarrrao Satav (Congress, Hingoli), Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik (NCP, Kolhapur) and Heena Vijaykumar Gavit (BJP, Nandurbar).
Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut from Maharashtra, CPI (M) MPs KN Balagopal and TN Seema from Kerala were the chosen ones from Rajya Sabha.
The winners were judged on the basis of debates initiated, questions, private member bills moved and attendance.
Kerala Governor and former Chief Justice of India P Sathasivam distributed the award, instituted by Prime Point Foundation, Chennai, to the MPs at a function on Saturday.
Sathasivam recalled that when Parliament introduced the MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) scheme, Bhim Singh of Panther’s Party of Jammu and Kashmir filed a petition in the Supreme Court. Sathasivam was part of the five-member constitution bench formed to decide the matter.
“Four members of the bench were against the scheme because there was no constitutional provision. I was the only one in favour, but I managed to convince other judges. In fact I was asked to write the judgment. In my village in Tamil Nadu, the road was laid using MPLAD fund,” he said.
Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State for Finance and Corporate Affairs, was among those present.