COIMBATORE: DMDK leader Vijayakant, DMK leader MK Stalin and actor-turned-politician R Sarathkumar of the All India Samathuva Makkal Katchi (AISMK) are among those MLAs having poor attendance record in the Assembly, along with Minister for Highways and Minor Ports Edappadi K Palanisamy.
Of the 234 MLAs, only a few of them turned up on all 159 days of the eight Assembly sessions in the last three years, reveals a reply to an RTI query. The reply from A Ayyan Perumal, Public Information Officer and Deputy Secretary of the Assembly Secretariat, Chennai, to a petition filed by RTI activist Daniel Jesudass says that the attendance of MLA Palanisamy in the Assembly was nil, while DMDK leader Vijayakant (Rishivandiyam) was present only on 27 days.
Similarly, DMK leader MK Stalin (Kolathur) has an attendance of just 56 days, while actor-turned-MLA Sarathkumar from Tenkasi has 75 days. The ongoing session, however, has not been taken into account.
DMK president M Karunanidhi had been present for just five days of the Assembly sessions.
According to Ayyan Perumal, as a matter of practice, the Chief Minister, Ministers, Speaker, Deputy Speaker and Chief Government Whip do not sign in the Assembly register, and the attendance of the present Ministers has been calculated during their tenure as MLAs.
Besides, the State Government has spent Rs 1,21,058 on mineral water for the 234 members, besides Rs 5,04,000 for hiring generators for the Assembly session.
DMDK Sulur MLA K Dinakaran says elected representatives are the bridge between people and the government and should bring the problems faced by the public to the knowledge of the House. “People have chosen MLAs to solve their grievances by conveying them during the Assembly session. The low attendance record has only gone to prove the failure of the elected representatives on this count,” adds Daniel.