The Hindu Businessline, February 4, 2022
The first parliamentary session of the year has just begun. On that note, we decided to have a look at the Lok Sabha MPs who have asked maximum questions, until the end of the 2021 winter session. According to the data put together by PRS Legislative Research, posing 389 questions, currently, Jamshedpur MP Bidyut Baran Mahato holds the credit for asking the most number of questions in the 17th Lok Sabha. A member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the 58-year-old has an 83 per cent attendance.
In the last session alone, he had asked a total of 44 questions. An agriculturalist by profession, this is Mahato’s second parliamentary term. Until now, he has asked questions across ministries, seeking answers on issues like vaccination, implementation of the National Education Policy, sale of Air India and Covid relief to States. During his last term, Mahato had asked a total of 896 questions.
According to the data, on average, an MP has asked 108 questions in the 17th Lok Sabha. Mahato is followed by another BJP MP Dr Sukanta Majumdar, who represents West Bengal’s Balurghat constituency. He has asked 385 questions in total. He, however, has an attendance of 70 per cent. Majumdar is the current BJP West Bengal President, and is a professor of Botany at the University of Gour Banga. Majumdar’s entry to the parliament was historic, for he defeated the then sitting MP, TMC’s Arpita Ghosh by over 33,000 votes. Like Mahato, he too has posed questions across ministries, seeking information on the NEP, jobs, entrepreneurship, women empowerment and much more.
Looking at the non-BJP ally MPs, Shiv Sena’s Shrirang Appa Barne has asked the most number of questions — 385. He also has a whopping 96 per cent attendance, having attended the sessions on all days during the last four sessions.
He represents Maharshtra’s Maval constituency. Of the women MPs, Nationalist Congress Party’s Supriya Sule has asked the most number of questions. Representing Maharashtra’s Baramati, this 52-year-old has asked 383 questions and has a 92 per cent attendance. Incidentally, in the 16th Lok Sabha, Supriya Sule had asked the most number of questions – 1,186. she was followed by NCP’s Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik, who had asked 1,175 questions. Shrirang Appa Barne held the fifth position there, having asked 1.113 questions.
Sule is known for her fiery speeches in the parliament. Her questioning of Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the parliament, on the rising prices of onion in 2019, was much discussed at that time.
In the current Lok Sabha, nine MPs have a centum attendance. They are BJP’s Jagdambika Pal, Ramesh Chander Kaushik, Manoj Kotak Kishorbhai, Bhargirath Chaudhary, Mohan Mandavi and Santosh Kumar Gangwar, Indian National Congress’ Pratibha Singh, Janata Dal (United)‘s Kaushalendra Kumar and Indian Union Muslim League’s MP Abdussamad Samadani. Of them, Singh and Samadani were elected to the parliament only a year ago and have asked zero and two questions respectively. Gangwar, who was the Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Labour and Employment until July 2021, has not asked a single question yet. Kishorbhai tops the list of these MPs, having asked 186 questions until now.
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