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No work may mean no allowance for MLAs

There is hope that legislators will also face a norm of no work = no allowance, reports Ketaki Ghoge. Read on...

india Updated: Jan 17, 2008 03:36 IST
Ketaki Ghoge
Ketaki Ghoge
Hindustan Times

Would you get paid for disrupting work at the office every day? Unlikely.

But your representatives to the state legislature and Parliament often get away with it, and get to take away their daily allowance of Rs 400.

This, even if the House is adjourned without transacting any business — passing of bills or discussion of issues concerning citizens and amenities.

Now, there is hope that legislators will also face a norm of no work = no allowance.

When Mumbai hosts a two-day national conference of chief whips of all political parties in the first week of February, these norms may actually get fixed.

Whips are floor managers appointed by political parties for the proceedings inside the legislature. They are appointed from among the legislators.

Their primary responsibility is to ensure the presence of party legislators for crucial debates and voting on important bills on the floor of the legislature.

The city will host over 200 delegates from across the country, including parliamentary affairs ministers, senior bureaucrats and whips of all parties at the 14th national conference.

While VIPs like Union Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee will stay in five-star hotels, others are likely to be accommodated at smaller hotels and government guesthouses.

“We will discuss if whips need more powers to ensure members attend the house more regularly,” said Speaker of the state Assembly Babasaheb Kupekar.

There will also be debates on how to improve the functioning of the House, and the state government may push for a code of conduct for all legislators.

This means members won’t be able to protest in an unruly fashion like running away with the mace, which symbolises the authority of the Speaker, or like eating chicken lollipops to counter a bird-flu scare.

“We are hosting this conference after 45 years,” said state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshawardhan Patil.