A Rajya Sabha seat is wasted on members like Tendulkar and Rekha
The office is a chance for prominent citizens to make a difference; and only those who have an interest in the running of the country should accept the nomination.editorials Updated: Aug 08, 2017 08:24 IST
Article 80(3) of the Constitution authorises the President of India to nominate (on the advice of the Government) 12 members to the Rajya Sabha. These members are people from outside the realm of politics and elections. These are people who have excelled in their respective fields, and whose expertise and vision can help shape legislation in the country. They are not expected to have stood for or won elections, but can contribute to legislation that can benefit from their perspective.
It is therefore disappointing that some of the current nominated members have done hardly anything to prove their value to the House. When celebrated cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (who has been a member of the House since 2012) showed up in Parliament last week, it was such a rare occurrence that it became news in itself. Mr Tendulkar has, in his five years as member, participated in no debates, introduced no bills, and his attendance in the house is a measly 7%. Actor Rekha is another nominated member with a dismal record. Also a member since 2012, her attendance record is even worse than Mr. Tendulkar, at 5%. She has asked no questions, introduced no bills, and taken part in no debates in all these years. This is not to say that all nominated members are the same. KTS Tulsi has asked the most number of questions – 134 – and participated in the most number of debates – 54 – out of all nominated members . Even Olympic medal winning boxer Mary Kom, who was nominated in 2016, has already participated in three debates and has a 61% attendance record.
It is a devaluation of a Rajya Sabha seat to nominate members such as Mr. Tendulkar and Ms. Rekha; who seem to have no interest in the running of the House. It would have been better for them to have refused the membership, instead of accepting it and contributing next to nothing. The office is a chance for prominent citizens to make a difference; and only those who have an interest in the running of the country should accept the nomination.