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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Celeb MPs: In the House, but keeping quiet

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 12, 2014
First Published: 00:28 IST(12/8/2014) | Last Updated: 00:35 IST(12/8/2014)

The celebrities in Lok Sabha have done better than their counterparts in the Upper House on the attendance front but have been found lacking in participating in the workings of the Lower House.

Recently, a row erupted over Rajya Sabha members cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood star Rekha remaining absent from the House since they were nominated by the UPA government.

In comparison to them, the celebrities in 16th Lok Sabha — about 10 members from the world of entertainment and sports — have done much better.

Vinod Khanna, the BJP member from Punjab, has highest attendance of 95% among all celebrities but he has not participated in a single debate or raised a question on the House, the data compiled by civil society body Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) says.

The compilation is based on members signing on daily attendance register — a must to receive their allowance from the Lok Sabha.  

Khanna’s contemporary in Bollywood and MP from Mathura, Hema Malini, however, has a dismal performance with attendance of less than 10% in 21 days when the Lok Sabha had met since been reconstituted in June this year. Another cine star and first time MP, Paresh Rawal, had about 71 % attendance but did not participate in any debate.

Another Bollywood star Babul Supriyo, who is Trinamool Congress MP, has done slightly better by recording 38% attendance which was almost half of his party colleague and film star Moon Moon Sen.

Aam Aadmi Party MP from Punjab and former comedian Bhagwant Mann turned out to be the outstanding Parliamentarian. He participated in debates on both rail and Union budget, raised several questions and attended about two-thirds of the Lok Sabha sittings. He was followed by Rajvardhan Singh Rathore, a BJP MP and a sportsperson, who raised couple of questions and participated in a debate in the House and recorded 90% attendance.

The data also showed that attendance of celebrity MPs was much lower than other members in Lok Sabha.


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