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How are your representatives in the Lok Sabha performing?

Kingson Chingakham

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The 16th Lok Sabha has completed its four years.Ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year,it is important to evaluate the performance of the Member of Parliament (MPs) in the Lok Sabha.This will help us in getting a clear idea whom to support and remove the non-performing MPs.Let us assess how the MPs in the Lok Sabha from the eight states of the northeast India are performing in terms of their attendance, participation in debates and question hours.The following data has been represented from the compilation done by the PRS India which corresponds to the period from June 1, 2014 to April 6. 2018 covering all the 14 sessions.

Assam

The average of the 14 members from Assam in terms of attendance is 74 per cent.The state’s  average in participation of debates by the members is 43.2.Both of these components are lower than the national averages of 80 per cent and 57.9 respectively.

Rameswar Teli (Dibrugarh Constituency): This first time MP from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is also a member of the standing committee on Industry.Undoubtedly,with 93 per cent overall attendance,he is the best performer among the 14 members from Assam.He has 100 per cent attendance record in eight sessions.

Mr.Teli has participated in 68 debates concerning man-animal conflicts,the need to provide piped natural gas to every household in Assam,need to set up consulate and offices of ASEAN and other East Asian Countries in Guwahati etc.

Out of the 80 questions he has asked so far,important reference should be made upon the issue of cross border smuggling,rehabilitation of families displaced due to flood,tribal welfare,hydro power projects in Arunachal Pradesh etc.No private members bill from him.

Radheshyam Biswas (Karimganj Constituency): This All India United Democratic Front member is a first time member of the Lok Sabha.He is also a member of the standing committee on Water Resources.Mr.Biswas has a spectacular attendance record.With an overall 91 per cent attendance,he is the second most regular MP from the state.His lowest was during the Budget session 2016 (part 1),where he had 63 per cent.

He has engaged in 64 debates so far revolving around the need to develop Son Bheel Karimganj district, Assam as a tourist spot,discrepancies in National Register of Citizens (NRC) part draft published in Assam,need to rehabilitate people residing along international border with Bangladesh etc.

191 questions have been asked by him touching on issues like tax rebate for promotion of exports,acquisition of oil fields abroad,wage board for Journalists etc.No private members’ bill has been put up by him.

Siraj Uddin Ajmal (Barpeta Constituency): A first time member from the All India United Democratic Front.He is the member of a standing committee on External Affairs.With just overall 36 per cent attendance,he is the worst performing MP among the 14 members from Assam.In the Budget session 2014,he just had 7 per cent attendance.In the Budget session 2018,he had 17 per cent attendance.His attendance record should sound an alarm to the public.

He has participated in 28 debates.Mention can be made of the demand to allocate funds for the flood affected people to Assam,work relating to NRC in Assam etc.Most of his debates were concentrated to government bills.

Though he has a poor attendance,he has managed to ask 249 questions so far.His questions ran around the electrification of remote villages in Assam,new railway to Barpeta town,cases of Assam in CBI,agrarian crises etc.No private members’ bill has been put up by him.

Gourav Gogoi (Kaliabor Constituency): The first time elected member is the son of the former CM Tarun Gogoi.The member from the Indian National Congress (INC) is also a member of the Standing Committee on Defence.Analyzing the attendance of Mr. Gogoi,he has an overall 79 percent attendance.In most of the sessions,he has been successful in crossing the 80 per cent mark.His lowest attendance was during the Budget session 2016 (part 1),where he just had 44 per cent.

He has been actively participating in the debates.Till now,he has participated in 80 debates. He debated on alleged increase in incidents of kidnapping and shootings in Assam,problems faced by tea workers,status of framework agreement between Government of India and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (IM) etc.

So far he has asked 260 questions in the house which touched the matters of FDI in National Highways,defence production,data protection etc.

Mr. Gogoi introduced three private member bills- ‘The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Amendment of section 2)’, ‘The Reorganization of Time Zones Bill, 2017’ and ‘The Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Bill, 2017 (Insertion of Chapter IVD)’.All the three bills are pending.

Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri Constituency): He is in his second term in the Lok Sabha.An affiliated member of the All India United Democratic Front,he is also member of the Standing Committees on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests.He has an overall attendance of 60 per cent.His lowest attendance was during the Budget session 2016 (part 1),which was just 13 per cent.Even in the Budget Session 2018,he had 38 percent only.

Mr.Ajmal has participated in 61 debates.In March,2017,he brought the issue of preparation of NRC in Assam.

In one of the most unexpected conducts,Mr. Ajmal asked 359 questions in the house.Some of the latest he questioned were in connection to the allotment of forest land,prevention of floods in Assam,foreign tribunals in Assam,preservation of monuments in the northeastern regions etc.As per the data,he has not laid any private members’ bill.

Biren Singh Engti (Autonomous Constituency): This is the seventh term for Mr Engti.The elected member from the INC is also a member of the Standing Committee on Rural Development.He has an overall attendance of 81 per cent from the 14 sessions with 100 per cent attendance in six of the sessions.Though he has performed well in terms of attendance,he has not been actively participating in debates and question hours.The data revealed that he has not participated in any of the debates.

He has asked just one question so far (which happened in 2014).In August 2016,he put up a private members bill titling ‘the Assam Reorganisation (Karbi Dimanchal) Bill, 2016’.The status of the bill is pending.

Bijoya Chakravarty (Gauhati Constituency):An elected member from the BJP,she is a member of the Standing Committee on Commerce.This third term MP has an overall attendance of 70 percent.Her lowest attendance was during the Budget Session 2018 with just 31 percent.Her first session in 2014 had 100 per cent attendance (but have been declining thereafter).

Ms Chakravarty has participated in 31 debates so far.Her last debate was in December 2017,regarding the death of elephants due to railway accident in Assam.In August2017,she also raised the need to take up with China on the issue of contamination of River Siang in Arunachal Pradesh.

38 questions were asked by Ms. Chakravarty.Some of the important questions she raised circled around enrollment of AADHAR in Assam,air connectivity in northeastern region,illegal migrants to Assam etc. No questions were asked in 2016 and no questions have been asked in 2018 so far.There is also no record of any private members’ bill.

Kamakhya Prasad Tasa (Jorhat Constituency): He is the first time elected member from the BJP. He is also a member of the Standing committee on Rural Development.With 74 per cent overall attendance, Mr Tasa has been following the extremities of attendance in every session.He has a record of 100 per cent in a session to just 25 per cent in another session.

He has participated in 38 debates.He raised important issues related to contamination of water of river Brahmaputra,the need to provide latest/modern ferries for tourists in Majuli Island in Assam,special package for Assam etc.

98 questions have been asked so far by Mr.Tasa revolving around tea estates,industrially backward states/regions,Northeast Hydrocarbon Vision 2030,north east industrial and investment policy etc.He hasn’t placed any private members bill yet.

Naba Kumar Sarania (Kokrajhar Constituency): First time elected Independent member.He holds the member of the standing committee on Labour.His attendance has seen the lows and highs in the sessions.His overall attendance is 78 per cent with a record of 100 per cent attendance in four session.But in the Budget session of 2018,he just had 38 per cent.

He has participated in 17 debates so far.He escalated the need to grant Scheduled Tribe status to certain tribal communities in Assam,the need to grant Rs 12,000 crore to repair the damage in Assam,need to provide adequate funds under Border Area Development Programme for drinking water projects in Kokrajhar parliamentary constituency etc.

58 questions were asked covering areas like the north east textile promotion scheme,skill development to self-employment in northeast states,electrification of villages in Assam etc.No private members’ bill has been introduced by him.

Pradhan Baruah (Lakhimpur Constituency) : He was elected as MP for the first time in November, 2016 through the bye-election,after the seating member Sarbananda Sonowal resigned from the seat.This BJP member is also a member of the standing committee on Urban Development.

Assessing his attendance from 2016,he has an overall performance of 62 per cent.Surprisingly,he had 90 per cent attendance in the Budget Session 2018.There is no record of participation in any of the debates.He has just questioned once so far on the subject of e-Cigarettes/ENDS.Though his term started around one and half year back,his performance has been disappointing.

Rajen Gohen (Nawgong Constituency): He was elected as the fourth term member of the Lok Sabha in 2014 from the BJP.Later,in July 2016,the MP was inducted to the Union Cabinet as a Minister of State in the Railway Ministry.Therefore,participation and attendance details for this MP are thus available only till May 11, 2016. 

Till the Budget session of 2016,he had an overall 68 per cent attendance.His lowest was during the Monsoon Session 2015,where he just had 24 per cent attendance.Before inducting in the Union Cabinet,he participated in 8 debates.During the corresponding period,he questioned 23 times with reference to textiles,home affairs etc.

Ram Prasad Sarmah (Tezpur Constituency): The first time member from the BJP also hold memberships in three standing committees i.e Water Resources and Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.His attendance track record has been good so far with an overall 83 per cent.The lowest being during the Winter session,2016 with 57 per cent.Otherwise,he has a record of 100 per cent attendance in two sessions.

Mr.Sarmah participated in 55 debates including sensitive matters like the need to accord scheduled tribe status to Gorkhas,Bodo problems in Assam,the infiltration from Bangladesh,need to develop Tezpur as a smart city etc.

He has asked 127 questions so far encompassing concerns like the cancer institute in Assam,infrastructure development in the northeastern region,waste to energy plants,migration in northeastern region etc.There is no record of any private members’ bill.

Ramen Deka (Mangaldoi Constituency) : The second term elected member from the BJP is a member of the standing committee on Home Affairs.He has managed to maintain a consistent 80 per cent attendance in most of the sessions.He has an overall 86 percent attendance with the lowest of 55 per cent during the Winter session 2015.

Mr.Deka has participated in 29 debates so far drawing into concerns over the need to accord tribal status to ‘Kalita’ community of Assam,need to protect the animals of Orang National Park in Assam,need of railway network in Darrang district of Assam etc.

83 questions have been asked so far regarding currency seized from militant organizations,national register of citizens,Kaladan project etc. No trace of private members’ bill from Mr Deka.

Sushmita Dev (Silchar Constituency): The first time elected member from the INC is also a member of standing committees on Science & Technology and Environment & Forests.Ms. Dev has a decent overall attendance of 80 per cent.Her lowest presence was during the Budget Session 2016 (Part 1) with just 25 per cent.

She has engaged in 79 debates touching upon topics like the need to revive Cachar paper mill and Nagaon paper mill in Assam,demand for rhino conservation, the erosion of river barak etc.

243 questions have been asked by Ms Dev during the corresponding period regarding funds to Assam,per capita consumption of electricity in northeastern states,issue of hike of import duties at WTO etc.

She introduced three private members’ bill viz., ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Amendment of article 32, etc.)’, ‘The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Insertion of new Chapter IIA and IIB)’ and ‘The Gauhati High Court (Establishment of a Permanent Bench at Silchar) Bill, 2016’.All the three bills are pending.

Arunachal Pradesh

There are two seats from Arunachal Pradesh at the Lok Sabha.There is a limitation in calculating the state averages as one of the two MPs is currently serving as the Union Minister.

Kiren Rijiju (Arunachal West Constituency) :It is his second term at the Lok Sabha.This BJP MP is the Union Minister of State for Home Affairs.The Union Ministers represent the government in debates, so it is a lengthy exercise to assess their performance.They do not sign the attendance register, ask questions, or introduce private member bills.Therefore,this MP has not be reported.

Ninong Ering (Arunachal East Constituency): This second term MP is associated with the INC.He is a member of standing committees on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests.He has an overall attendance of 72 per cent.His lowest attendance was during the Winter Session 2017 with 46 per cent.

Mr. Ering has participated in 48 debates raising issues like poor internet connectivity in the north eastern states,the need to establish hospital in Pashigat,denial of Visa by China to sportspersons from Arunachal Pradesh,issues related to AFSPA,downstream impact of Jangmu Hydropower project on Indian states etc.

He has asked 278 questions so far.He asked crucial questions related to PDS scam in Arunachal Pradesh,promotion of indigenous sports,Act East Policy,healthcare services in northeastern states,revival of non-operational airports under UDAN scheme etc.

He has taken five private members’ bill to the floor viz., ‘The Compulsory Teaching of North-East Culture in Educational Institution Bill, 2017’, ‘The National Tribal Research and Development University Bill, 2017’, ‘The State of Arunachal Pradesh (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Amendment of section 35)’, ‘The State of Arunachal Pradesh (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (Insertion of new sections 29A to 291)’ and ‘The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Amendment of the Schedule’. All the five bills are pending.

Manipur

Out of the two seats, one is reserved for the Scheduled Tribe.At present, both the MPs are from the INC.

Thokchom Meinya (Inner Manipur Constituency) : With a doctorate degree,he is one of the most qualified politicians in the state.The 16th Lok Sabha is the third time in office for this MP.He is also a member of the standing committee on Petroleum & Natural Gas.He is also one of the most regular MPs in the country with 93 per cent attendance at his disposal.In these 14 sessions,he has managed to have a 100 per cent attendance in eight of the sessions.

Mr.Meinya has participated in 59 debates so far dwelling around merger agreement signed between the erstwhile king of Manipur and Government of India in 1949,details of agreement signed between the Government of India and the NSCM(IM),the need to repeal AFSPA etc.

154 questions were asked of which mention can be made of the condition of National Highway 37,checkpost along Myanmar border,upgradation of airports,loss of forest cover in the northeastern states etc.

This MP presented four private members’ bill viz., ‘The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Repeal Bill, 2017’, ‘The Code of Criminal Procedure (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Amendment of section 197)’, ‘The International Treaties and Agreements (Equal Representation of Women) Bill, 2017’ and ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Insertion of new article 371CA)’.All the four bills have been lying pending.

Thangso Baite (Outer Manipur Constituency): This second term MP is a member of the standing committee on Health and Family Welfare.His presence at the House has been regular with an overall 92 per cent attendance. Out of the total 14 sessions so far, Mr. Baite has never come short of below 80 per cent.He has a 100 per cent attendance in three of the sessions.

Though a very regular MP,his performance on debates and question hours have been minimal.During the corresponding period,Mr.Baite participated only in 10 debates.In 2014, he debated on the issue of ‘Inner Line Permit in Manipur’.Recently,he also raised the need for special funds to improve the rural road connectivity in Manipur.

So far,we could aggregate 13 questions asked by Mr.Baite concerning ‘Promotion of Hindi in Non-Hindi speaking states,fencing on borders,deforestation in the northeastern regions etc. This MP has not furnished any private members’ bill yet.

Meghalaya

Meghalaya has two seats in the Lok Sabha.The state average in terms of attendance is 73 per cent,whereas in terms of debates it is just 7.3 (way below the national average of 57.9).

Conrad Kongkal Sangma (Tura Constituency): He is the son of the former CM Purno Sangma.This leader from the National Peoples Party was elected to the Lok Sabha in the by-election of 2016,following the death of his father.Simultaneously,he is also the incumbent CM of Meghalaya.He is also a member of standing committee in energy.

Mr. Sangma’s appearance has been dismal at the house,with just 54 per cent overall attendance.In the latest Budget session 2018,Mr Sangma’s attendance was zero.He has participated in only 5 debates so far and the debates did not deal anything specific with Meghalaya.He has questioned 16 times on the floor touching upon the issues of promotion of tourism in the northeastern states,sports infrastructure in the region,arrests of Bangladeshi militants etc.There is no private members’ bill till date.Holding two simultaneous positions should be a cause of worry for the people.

Vincent H Pala (Shillong Constituency): He holds the membership of three standing committees viz., Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice.With a record of overall 91 per cent attendance, Mr. Pala has been quite regular to the office.He has 100 per cent attendance in six of the sessions.

This INC member has participated in 26 debates incorporating affairs like the condition of road along Indo-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya,need for more mobile towers in the state,issue related to poorest air connectivity to the North-East and installation of machines at Shillong Airport etc.

There have been 214 questions from this second term MP.He questioned upon Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States,health Infrastructure in northeast,North East Venture Fund,Road-Widening Projects in NER etc.

Four private members’ bill were presented by him viz, ‘The Sixth Schedule to the Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Amendment of Sixth Schedule)’, ‘The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2014 (Insertion of new section 3A)’, ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Amendment of the Eighth Schedule)’ and ‘The National Green Tribunal (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Insertion of new section 14A)’.All the four bills are pending.

Mizoram

There is only one seated MP in the Lok Sabha from the state. C.L. Ruala was elected as the MP for the 16th Lok Sabha from the INC.He is also the member of the standing committee on Agriculture.He has a pleasant overall attendance of 91 per cent.But attendance hardly matters if there are no productive work done at the house.

This second term MP has participated in just 2 debates so far.The last participation was in 2016. Only four questions have been asked so far,which were on the ongoing projects in Mizoram,Hydro Project in Mizoram,consumption of Oil and Gas and Self Help Groups.There is no engagement in private member’s bill.

Nagaland

The state has one allotted seat to the Lok Sabha. Till February 2018, the incumbent CM of the state Neiphiu Rio was the elected MP from the state.He is affiliated to the Nagaland Peoples Party.He was also a member of the standing committee on Agriculture.The seat was lying vacant since he resigned in February 2018 till the by poll elections held on May 28.The result is expected on May 31.

Assessing the former MP, Mr Rio had an overall attendance of 58 per cent with data corresponding till February 22, 2018.In the winter session of 2017, his presence was zero.

He participated in 14 debates involving the issue of Indo-Naga political dialogue and the peace process in Nagaland and demand to resolve the issue before the general assembly elections,issue regarding the tribal and hill people of Manipur State,poor connectivity problem of flights and condition of airports in Nagaland etc.

20 questions were asked by Mr.Rio when he was in office.Some of the important questions raised where related to Indo-Bangladesh Dialogue on Disaster Management,bills from Manipur,crime against people from northeast,Dimapur Airport etc.No private members’ bill was presented when he was in office.

Sikkim 

The state has only one elected member for the Lok Sabha.Prem Das Rai from the Sikkim Democratic Front was elected for the 16th Lok Sabha.This second term MP is also a member of the standing committee on Finance.Mr.Rai’s overall attendance meets exactly the national average of 80 per cent.

He has participated in 64 debates so far dealing on permanent solution to the agitation/demand of statehood to Gorkhaland,the issue of of racial attacks on the people of the northeastern region,delay in construction of Pakyong Airport in Sikkim etc.

376 questions were asked which is the highest among the MPs in the northeastern region.Some of the remarkable questions were on equal basic pension under Seventh Landslides in northeastern Region,artificial intelligence,WTO negotiations,relations with Nepal and Bhutan,regional air connectivity under UDAN etc.

Three private member’s bill that were introduced by him have been pending viz., ‘The Hospital-Acquired Infections (Prevention, Control and Mandatory Reporting) Bill, 2015’, ‘The Indian Forest (Amendment) Bill, 2014 (Amendment of section 2)’ and ‘The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Abuse (Survey) Bill, 2014’.

Tripura 

There are two Lok Sabha seats from the state.Both the two MPs are elected for the first time from the  Communist Party of India (Marxist).

Jitendra Choudhury (Tripura East Constituency): He is a member of the standing committee on commerce.He has a respectable score of 81 per cent overall attendance.His lowest being 46 per cent during the winter session 2017.

Mr Choudhury has participated in 104 debates.Mention can be made of request to amend the provisions of the Sixth Schedule and empowerment of the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council(ADC) and other ADCs,demand to increase budget for 200 days under MNREGA in Tripura,demand to ensure stringent enforcement of the labour laws in the newspaper and media industry,need to establish six Kendriya Vidyalyas in Tripura etc.

He has asked 261 questions on the floor concerning crime against SCs/STs,funds to tackle air pollution,contamination of Brahmaputra river,clean Ganga project etc.There are no private members’ bill from Mr.Choudhury.

Sankar Prasad Datta (Tripura West Constituency): He is a member of the standing committee on Chemicals &Fertilizers.Mr. Datta has an overall attendance of 74 per cent which is below the national average.The latest Budget session 2018 was his lowest with just 21 per cent attendance.But he has been actively participating in the debates.

In the 131 debates he has participated,we can refer to the problems faced by the people of Darjeeling due to prevailing unrest,demand to amend the provisions of sixth schedule and a provision for allocation of fund directly to the ADC,demand to construct construct new railway lines in Tripura for the better connectivity etc.

He has asked 242 questions so far on the floor regarding allocation of funds under MGNREGS,training of police force,status of modernisation of land records,genetically modified crops etc.

He has furnished five private members’ bill viz., ‘The Domestic Workers (Regulation of Work and Social Security) Bill, 2017’, ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Insertion of new article 16A)’, ‘The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2015 (Insertion of new article 21B)’, ‘The Insurance Agents Welfare Fund Bill, 2015’ and ‘The Old Age Pension Bill, 2015’. All the five bills are pending.

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