The monsoon session of Parliament is set to begin on July 18 and it marks the beginning of the fifth year of the 16th Lok Sabha. With barely a year to go for the general election, here is an analysis, based on the data available in the Lok Sabha and PRS websites , on how the elected representatives have fared in the Lower House.
Members' attendance is calculated based on the members signing the register maintained at the Lok Sabha Secretariat. It is based on this register that their allowances and salaries are calculated. If a member participates in the session, but forgets to sign, that person is considered to be absent. Also, it is not mandatory for the Prime Minister, his Council of Ministers, the Speaker, and the Deputy Speaker to sign the register.
Bhairon Prasad Mishra, Gopal Chinayya Shetty, and Ramesh Chander Kaushik of the BJP have attended every single day this Lok Sabha functioned. Kulamani Sama of the Bjiu Janata Dal has also maintained a hundred per cent attendance record. Mr. Mishra, a the first-time MP from Banda, Uttar Pradesh, also holds the record for participating in the most number of debates, a whopping 1,722 debates. He has also asked 469 questions so far.
Arvind Sawant of the Shiv Sena, Harish Chandra Meena and Rajesh Kumar Diwaker of the BJP, have an attendance rate of 99 per cent. A total of 74 members have over 90 per cent attendance.
The first hour of a sitting in the Lok Sabha is dedicated to questions. During this hour, the members can ask questions pertaining to any Ministry. Though only select questions are answered, a written reply is given to every question.
Nine out of top 10 questioners are from Maharashtra. NCP MP from Baramati Supriya Sule is the member who has asked the most number of questions in the last four years. She has asked 983 questions so far. Party colleague Dhananjay Bhimrao Mahadik's tally of questions is just 13 fewer than hers. Another woman MP who has been active during the question hour is the BJP's Heena Vaijaykumar Gavit, also from Maharashtra. Haribansh Singh is the lone non-Maharashtra MP to figure in the top 10 list of members who have asked the most number of questions.
The Lok Sabha website classifies any proceedings other than the question hour as debates. This includes motions moved, matters of importance highlighted by various members, bills discussed, as well as short duration discussions.
The top 10 debaters are all male and nine of them are from the BJP. They all have an impressive attendance record of over 95 per cent. The lone non-BJP member who has made it to the list is BJD's Rabindra Kumar Jena, representing Balasore. The 50-year-old first-time MP has participated in 269 debates, asked 448 questions, and moved 12 private member bills.
Private member bills
Any member is allowed to introduce a bill and it is called a Private member bill. Such a bill has never been passed in both Houses so far, but that doesn't deter members from introducing them. There have been instances of the government taking a cue from such bills and drafting its own version.
Again, the BJP members have been more spirited in introducing such bills, with seven members from the party figuring in the top 10 list. Nishikant Dubey has brought in 36 such bills so far, the maximum by any member in this term. This is the second term for the MP from Godda (Jharkhand).
Baijayant Jay Panda and Bhartruhari Mahtab, both from the BJD, take the fifth and the 10th place. By moving 18 Private Member Bills, Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav of the Rashtriya Janata Dal comes sixth.
None of the members from the southern States made it to the top 10 with regard to asking questions or participating in the debates, but Kerala is one of the top five States whose MPs have made their mark in debates.
The members from Kerala have participated in 2,355 debates so far, taking the State to the third position. In terms of the average number of debates by an MP, Kerala comes second, after Tripura. The two MPs from Tripura have collectively participated in 235 debates.
With 80 members, Uttar Pradesh sends the maximum number of members to the Lower House. It also leads in the number of debates participated, with its members active in 6,355 debates. Rajasthan and Maharashtra come second and third respectively.