Data shows Ramasubbu leads in Lok Sabha performance, Semmalai comes second
The road between Poolampatti in Salem district and the Salem Steel Plant along with the giant pipes bringing Cauvery water to the plant was laid in the 1970s.
For over 40 decades, the 38-km road was in a state of neglect and completely unmotorable. Now, the Steel Ministry has agreed to relay the road in three phases after AIADMK MP S. Semmalai representing Salem constituency raised the issue in the Parliament.
Mr. Semmalai, a former MLA and Minister in the AIADMK government, has secured the second place in the list of performing MPs from Tamil Nadu by participating in 112 debates. Besides he has moved 6 private member bills and raised 466 questions in the current Lok Sabha, the 15th.
“I was given two important portfolios – Health and Education – by our leader in her previous government and the experience comes in handy in Parliament,” said Mr. Semmalai, who is also the deputy leader of the AIADMK in the Lok Sabha.
Salem, a second-tier city with less than 10 lakh population was brought under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNURRM) scheme, the credit should go to Mr. Semmalai. His attendance in the Lok Sabha is 86 per cent.
But the person who has participated in maximum number of debaters, raised more questions and recorded 97 per cent attendance is Congress member S.S. Ramasubbu, representing Tirunelveli.
An assessment by the PRS Legislative Research (PRS) has adjudged him as the top performer going by his attendance and participation in debates and raising questions.
“You have to read a lot and fully prepare yourself before taking part in a debate or supplement a question in Lok Sabha. Moreover, a member has to be extremely attentive,” said the Congress member, who says he succeeded in getting a broad-gauge line between Tirunelveli and Tenskasi and a slew of new railway schemes for his constituency.
It was Mr. Ramasubbu who drew the nation’s attention to the dengue deaths in his districts and persuaded the Centre to send a medical team to study the situation.
According to him, he was also instrumental in the Centre taking efforts to link the southern grid with the north so that the excess power could be diverted to Tamil Nadu.
A two-time MLA and former bank employee, he has good knowledge of finance and banks related bills and issues.
Another person who had performed well in the current Lok Sabha is DMK’s R. Thamaraiselvan (Dharmapuri). He has taken part in 100 debates, raised 584 questions and maintained 83 per cent attendance.
“Only a crying baby will get the mother’s attention. You have to constantly raise issues concerning your constituency and political issues. I could get a railway line between Morappur and Dharmapuri, a project, that was secured even when the constituency was represented by the PMK and Minister of Sate for Railways was also from the PMK,” he said.
He also secured a DRDO project at a cost of Rs. 4500 crore that would come up in 90 acres.
Mr. Semmalai said he would stay in the House till 6 p.m. so that he could participate in the zero hour and speak on important issues raised by his leader.
“I have suggested amendments to various bills. As regards the Food Security Bill, I have made it clear that it should not apply to Tamil Nadu, which is following universal public distribution system, while the Centre’s bill aims at targeted PDS,” he said.
Both Mr. Semmalai and Mr. Ramasubbu had spoken on education loan for students.
“I questioned the banks’ decision to collect interest from students when they were still in college. The government accepted my argument and brought necessary changes,” he said.
All these members agreed that the Centre was more responsive to the queries of the members, even if they could not get a positive response always.