Absenteeism in Lok Sabha

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New Delhi:  While the Lok Sabha debated the all important Right to Education Bill - an issue that can change the lives of thousands of school going children, hardly 100 MPs bothered to join in.

A day after Sonia Gandhi advised her MPs to be present for all important debates at 3 pm, the treasury benches had 55 MPs - a shade better to Opposition's 51.

A few hours later, Lok Sabha had to be adjourned. There were no MPs in the House to discuss a private member's bill.

It has now become a tradition. Every Friday, most LS MPs do not attend the second half. Their excuse: they have to visit their constituencies.

But Rajya Sabha's Monday record was no better. On July 20, a Monday when the Right to Education was passed only 54 MPs in all were present.

But when NDTV checked the Lok Sabha records, it found out that at least on paper, the attendance is rather good.

On June 1, the first day of the new Lok Sabha, 422 MPs signed in
June 2, a day later, the number was 440 and on an average, 400 MPs attended Lok Sabha every day
In the first week of the current session too, more than 400 MPs signed in.

Sources say this is because most MPs sign in and attend the first half to collect their allowance - 1000 rupees. But many don't bother to stay on.

"Some MPs come here to enjoy whereas Parliamentary responsibility is very important," said M B Rajesh, MP, CPI-M.

"MPs should realise that their primary duty is that of being a law maker," said Manish Tiwari, Congress Spokesperson.

New MPs should first perhaps take lesson from the last Lok Sabha - undoubtedly marked by the maximum number of disruptions. This time, more than half of the old timers did not manage a win.


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