Only five of the 545 members clocked cent per cent attendance in three years of the current Lok Sabha during which Congress President Sonia Gandhi attended more sittings than her son Rahul. Bhairon Prasad Mishra, the MP from Banda, Uttar Pradesh, participated in 1,468 debates and discussions, the highest in the Lok Sabha and has 100 per cent attendance record. Twenty-two lawmakers from the lower house attended only half of the sittings or less.
Records of the prime minister and some ministers are not available as it is not mandatory for them to sign the attendance register. The Leader of the Opposition is also exempted from this. The Congress president, who was unwell for some time, recorded 59 per cent attendance as against 54 per cent recorded by Rahul. In the last three years, Sonia Gandhi participated in five debates while the Rahul took part in 11 debates, including one on inflation.
According to the attendance data maintained by PRS Legislative, a non-profit research body that tracks functioning of Parliament, nearly 25 per cent MPs, 133 of the 545, have attended more than 90 per cent of the sittings while the national average for lawmakers is 80 per cent.
Congress veterans like Veerappa Moily and Mallikarjun Kharge, who is also the Leader of the Congress in Lok Sabha, recorded 91 and 92 per cent attendance respectively, while the party’s young guns like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Rajeev Satav attended 80 and 81 per cent of the Lok Sabha sittings.
The other four MPs who have cent per cent attendance are BJD MP from Jagatsinghpur Kulmani Samal and BJP MPs Gopal Shetty (North Mumbai-Maharashtra), Kirit Solanki (Ahmedabad West) and Ramesh Chander Kaushik (Sonipat-Haryana). Veteran parliamentarian and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav clocked 79 per cent attendance. His daughter-in-law Dimple Yadav is among those who attended less than 50 per cent of the Lok Sabha sittings. Dimple, who is the wife of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, had only 35 per cent attendance.
Former Union ministers Anbumani Ramdoss (PMPK) and Shibu Soren (JMM) have clocked only 45 per cent and 31 per cent attendance respectively. Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who represented Amritsar until December 2016, attended only six per cent of the proceedings while his Jammu and Kashmir counterpart Mehooba Mufti attended only 35 per cent of the House proceedings. Mufti quit in January 2016 to take charge as the chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir after the death of her father Mufti Mohammed Sayeed.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi, who took reins of the state in March this year, continues to remain a member of the Lok Sabha. The five-time MP from Gorakhpur attended 72 per cent of the Lok Sabha proceedings. Gyan Singh, a BJP MP from Madhya Pradesh, and Deepak Adhikari, actor-turned-politician from West Bengal, have recorded eight and nine per cent, the lowest among all.
Interestingly, attendance of actors turned politicians continue to remain low. Apart from Adhikari, Mathura MP Hema Malini attended only 35 per cent of the Lok Sabha sittings. The actress had met with an accident in 2015. BJP MP and former union minister Vinod Khanna, who succumbed to cancer in April, attended 50 per cent of Lok Sabha sittings. The MP from Gurdaspur attended the House in the first half of the Budget Session that ended in February.
Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher had an attendance of 86 per cent. Fellow actor and Ahmedabad East MP Paresh Rawal, who was recently in the eye of controversy for his tweets on author Arundhati Roy, attended 68 per cent of the Lok Sabha sittings. Bhojpuri actor-singer and Delhi BJP president Manoj Tiwari has recorded 77 per cent attendance while comedian turned politician and AAP’s Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann attended only 52 per cent of the sittings.
‘Shotgun’ Shatrughan Sinha attended 70 per cent of the sittings, but the voluble MP from Patna Sahib in Bihar did not participate in any debate nor did he ask any question. TMC MP and actress Moon Moon Sen mirrored Sinha’s record.