Many first-time MPs believe silence is golden in the Lok Sabha

The Economic Times, May 02, 2016

PM Narendra Modi’s suggestion that a day should be set aside for first-time MPs in the Lok Sabha to speak out in the House appears to have come against the backdrop of near inactivity on the part of most of these members with as many as 13 of them not having participated in any debate and 26 of them not posing a single question in the two years since their election.

The current LS has 320 first-time MPs. Data from PRS Legislative Research shows 94 of these MPs participated in less than 10 debates and 63 in less than five debates. While 13 have not yet taken part in any debate in Parliament, 13 others have just spoken once in a debate. Nine first timers took part in two debates.

The figures include all debates and interventions as well as speeches, which were laid on the table of the House due to lack of time. The first time MPs who are ministers were not a part of this study.

According to the data, 26 of the first time MPs never asked a question, not even a supplementary, while six just posed one question in these two years. 45 MPs asked less than 10 questions. The figure includes starred, unstarred and supplementary questions.

While those who score in terms of statistics on questions and debates are the lesser known faces, the qualitative contributions have come from some prominent first-time MPs like Anupriya Patel (Apna Dal), Meenakshi Lekhi and Poonam Mahajan ( BJP), Dushyant Chautala (INLD) and Rajeev Satav (Congress).

MPs like Sushmita Dev, Gaurav Gogoi (Congress) and Bhagwant Mann (AAP) stood out mainly due to their lung power. Others like Kirron Kher, Paresh Rawal, Ramesh Bidhuri and Ram Charitra Nishad (BJP) have mainly tried to take potshots at the person giving a speech.

In terms of debates and questions, TMC MPs had the most dismal record with 11 of its MPs figuring in the list. These included Deepak Adhikari, Anupam Hazra, Bijoy Barman, Dasrath Tirkey, Mamta Thakur and Moon Moon Sen.

Four BJP MPs?Ashok Doharey, K C Patel, Liladharbhai Vaghela and Nagendra Singh?were almost inactive in the House. Dayakar Pasunoori (TRS) was also inactive. BJP MP from Pali in Rajasthan and SC lawyer PP Chaudhary emerged the best performing first-timer with participation in 297 debates. He raised 362 questions (including supplementaries), according to the data. He also moved the highest number (18) of Private Members’ Bills.

Among the first-timers who asked the most questions were Dhananjay Mahadik (NCP), Shrirang Barne ( Shiv Sena), Vijaysinh Mohite Patil (NCP), Rajeev Satav (Congress) and Heena Gavit (BJP).

And those who never asked a single question included Deepak Adhikari, Bijoy Barman, Dashrath Tirkey, Mamta Thakur, Renuka Sinha, Sandhya Roy, Moon Moon Sen, Uma Saren (TMC), Anju Bala, Ashok Doharey, Dharmendra Kumar, George Baker, Hari Om Pandey, K C Patel, Liladharbhai Vaghela, Nagendra Singh, Priyanka Rawat, Satya Pal Singh and Yashwant Singh (BJP), Dayakar Pasunoori, Godam Nagesh (TRS), Mahboob Ali Kaiser (LJP), Prakash Hukkeri (Congress), Tej Pratap Yadav (SP), VP Rao (YSRCP).

Those who participated in the maximum number of debates were Bhairon Prasad Mishra, Pushpendra Singh Chandel, PP Chaudhary, Gajendra Shekhawat and Sharad Tripathi (all BJP).

The first-timers who never participated in any debate in the last two years were: Deepak Adhikari, Dashrath Tirkey , Mriganka , Uma Saren, Moon Moon Sen ( TMC), Dayakar Pasunoori (TRS), Dilip Patel , Kunwar Sarvesh Kumar, Liladharbhai Vaghela, Nagendra Singh, Rajesh Pandey ( BJP), and Vijaysinh Mohite Patil (NCP).

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