Performance in 17th Lok Sabha: Three Karnataka MPs raised zero questions, five did not participate in any debate

April 19, 2024 10:10 pm | Updated 10:11 pm IST - Bengaluru

Activists Aakar Patel, Parakala Prabhakar, A.R. Vasavi, and Mallika Ganti at a press meet in Bengaluru on Friday.

Activists Aakar Patel, Parakala Prabhakar, A.R. Vasavi, and Mallika Ganti at a press meet in Bengaluru on Friday. | Photo Credit: SUDHAKARA JAIN

A performance analysis of the 28 MPs in the 17th Lok Sabha from Karnataka has shown that three of the 25 BJP MPs did not ask a single question while five did not participate in any of the debates in Parliament during their five-year tenure.

The analysis done by a group of like-minded individuals and scholars, including A.R. Vasavi and Janaki Nair, was released on Friday at an event organised by Samvidhanada Haadiyalli, a collective of professionals interested in constitutional values and politics. Political economist Parakala Prabhakar also spoke at the event.

According to the analysis, Pralhad Joshi (Dharwad), D.V. Sadananda Gowda (Bengaluru North), and R.C. Jigajinagi (Vijayapura) did not ask any questions during their tenure. Besides, Anantkumar Hegde (North Canara), Mr. Sadananda Gowda, Mr. Joshi, Mr. Jigajinagi, and Srinivas Prasad (Chamarajanagar) did not participate in any debate.

Attendance, debates

Way below the national average of 79% attendance in Parliament, Karnataka MPs average attendance recorded was 71% in the 17th Lok Sabha. However, nine MPs had above 79% attendance. While two MPs recorded an attendance ranging between 26% and 50%, 14 MPs had an attendance of 51% -75%, and 11 MPs were in the range of 76% to 91%, the analysis revealed.

Drawing on details from the Parliamentary Research Service database of transcriptions of all debates in Parliament, the analysis revealed that very few MPs attempted to initiate policies or programmes to address constituency specific issues.

On Karnataka-related debates, three MPs, Bhagwant Khuba (Bidar), G.S. Basavaraj (Tumakuru), and S. Muniswamy (Kolar) raised issues pertaining to extending SC/ST category status to various caste groups of the State (Kurubas, Kadugolla, Kunchitiga), or for Tulu to be recognised as a language (Shobha Karandalaje, Udupi-Chikkmagaluru). Only two MPs sought relief for floods (Guddi Gowdar- Bagalkot) and A.S. Jolle (Chikkodi) for Karnataka. Besides, Bengaluru Rural MP D.K. Suresh raised concern about the Hijab issue and the imposition of Hindi in Karnataka..

COVID support

Only Mr. Suresh and Mr. Joshi were considered to have provided substantial support during COVID. Eleven of the MPs provided limited support by way of directing funds or attending meetings. A majority (15) of them were considered to be ‘indifferent’ and two (Tejasvi Surya and Srinivas Prasad) are reported to have played negative roles. One MP (Suresh Angadi) defied COVID safety norms, contracted the virus, delayed treatment, and died in Delhi. His wife, Mangala, was elected on a sympathy wave.

Fund allocation

According to the review, most MPs (26) did not contribute to any of Karnataka’s concerns. Most MPs did not support Karnataka’s demand for fair financial allocation, did not facilitate release of MGNREGA funds to the State, failed to get drought and flood relief, and did not intervene when the Centre denied Karnataka’s request for additional allocations of rice for PDS.

While most of the MPs are criticised for not doing enough or neglecting the State, seven MPs (all BJP) were identified as focusing only on the RSS-BJP agendas in their constituencies and in the State. Such activities included mobilising funds and support for Ram Mandir; facilitating processions and celebrations related to reviving religious centres and local caste icons; facilitating RSS-BJP leaders’ visits; facilitating mass booking on trains to Ayodhya; and fostering communal tensions in different ways..

The review also found that six MPs had indulged directly and eight indirectly  in abetting communal violence in their regions or in the State. While Mr. Hegde had called for the abolition of the Constitution, Mr. Surya is associated with making anti-women comments, the report added.

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