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Atul Patankar

Your MP In The House

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Atul Patankar

As reported at www.outlookindia.com in issue dated 04 May 2009

 

 

To evaluate the overall performance of individual MPs, Satark Nagarik Sangathan (SNS) used information obtained under the RTI Act and information available with the government. The report cards of the MPs in these pages have been arrived at on the basis of three key parameters:

 

Individual Performance: Their attendance, the number of questions raised by them, their participation in Lok Sabha proceedings, and the number of bills introduced by them in 2007.

 

Team Performance: Their membership in parliamentary standing committees from 2004 to 2008, and the number of committee meetings attended by them in 2007.

 

Funds Utilisation: Under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS), each MP can recommend development works of up to Rs 2 crore per year in their constituency. We have an analysis of projects sanctioned between May 2004 and March 2008. The report cards also provide information on the educational qualifications and criminal antecedents, if any, of the MPs compiled from the affidavit and Form 26 filed by them at the time of the 2004 elections.

 

Why We Did It

 

We live in an era of greater transparency—and accountability. The corridors of power, where players once operated behind an opaque maze of rules, have to adjust to a new atmosphere of public scrutiny. With tools like the Right to Information (RTI) Act now at the disposal of the public, governance can be closely monitored. And the information can be shared and disseminated widely, quickly and inexpensively.

 

The performance and record of our Members of Parliament is a key barometer of the health of our democracy and its law-making process. That’s why Outlook, working in collaboration with Satark Nagarik Sangathan, a Delhi-based NGO, has put together this booklet which throws light on how some of our elected members performed. Or did not. The objective behind this Reader Service is twofold: one, to make the performance and record of key MPs a matter of national record, not just local importance; two, to ensure that readers and citizens have a lasting document to gauge the performance of some prominent MPs:

 

 

Epilogue

Like with mutual funds, in politics, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Still, we hope that this Reader Service will give you a better insight into the track record of some of our prominent MPs. And an indication of what to expect and demand in future.

The data is quite revealing. Some parliamentarians frequently absented themselves from the House and did not raise any questions—starred or unstarred. Others showed poor attendance at the meetings of the various House committees they were members of. A good deal of the Lok Sabha’s business and groundwork, including planning, charting out programmes and creation of new laws is carried out in such committees.It speaks poorly of members who abdicated their responsibility.

 

There were those who did not even attend a single meeting. Some of those who fared poorly in Parliament have been denied tickets. But unfortunately, performance is not always the criterion when political parties field their MPs for a second term. We hope that the members of the 15th Lok Sabha will realise that somebody is watching—and counting.

 

Source: Your MP In The House : outlookindia.com

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