She may have missed the Rio bus but boxer-parliamentarian MC Mary Kom is determined to improve her showing in the Rajya Sabha.
After recording poor attendance (21%) in May, her first session as a lawmaker, the 33-year-old has been attending Parliament that opened for monsoon session on July 18.
The London Olympics bronze medallist is busy educating herself on the issues she can raise in the House. “I am still learning and I have started by attending the House,” Kom, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April, told HT in her first interview as lawmaker.
Kom does not want to go the way many nominated celebrity members have. On Tuesday, members raised the issue of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and film actor Rekha’s poor record in the house of elders yet again. (hyperlink)
In his four years as an MP, Tendulkar’s attendance is just seven per cent and Rekha’s a dismal five per cent, as reported by HT on Tuesday. The current Rajya Sabha has 11 nominated members.
“My plan is to do something good for the Northeast and sports. There are many issues from the past and there will issues in the future that I can raise being an MP,” she said.
Kom said she will spend rest of the year familiarising herself with parliamentary procedures and practices. “I think this year, I might not be able to raise any issues,” she said.
The Rajya Sabha nomination had surprised her. The five-time world champion had told the media she would not let her entry in to the House divert attention from trying to secure a berth for the Rio Olympics. “I have not qualified for the Olympics yet and till I qualify, I’m not going to think about what would be my role as a parliamentarian. Doing that will put pressure on me… my sole focus is now to qualify for the Rio Olympics,” she said in April.
“I believe God has a different plan for me,” Kom said a month later after she failed to qualify.
As an MP, Kom has been allotted a house on Lodhi Road but she still works out of her room in Manipur Bhawan on the Capital’s SP Marg. The house allotted to her is undergoing repairs. “Even the letters (from Parliament) asking me to submit my questions for the session reached late,” said the boxer from Manipur. The RS website still has her Imphal address.