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MPs who preferred to keep ‘silent’ during 15th Lok Sabha
Fisticuffs, mike breaking, pepper spraying-the most recent incident, are some of the scenes float before eyes the moment one hears the word ‘Parliament’. And, what about the parliamentarians? They are the elements of this unprecedented chaos. However, not everyone is the same. There are some MPs follow the dictum “Silence is golden” and hardly speak or raise any questions during proceedings in the House. According to the PRS Legislative Research, over 60 MPs from Lok Sabha and 35 from Rajya Sabha did not either participate in debates, private member’s bills or pose any question. Let us take a note of these 10 well-known MPs who keep themselves tight-lipped in the five years of their terms, as compiled by PRS Legislative Research.
Rahul Gandhi: The scion of Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, Rahul Gandhi is one of the politicians from whom a lot is expected. He comes from the most powerful political family of India, the Nehru Family and has as a huge burden of expectation as three of his predecessors have already occupied the prestigious Prime Ministerial post of India. At present, he is representing the constituency of Amethi and also the Vice President of the Indian National Congress. But, as legislators he failed to raise even one developmental question during the proceedings of the House. Though he still has a long way to go, he needs to be more active as far as his involvement in the Parliament goes.
Lal Krishna Advani: BJP veteran Lal Krishna Advani, who will be contesting in the upcoming general elections from Gujarat’s Gandhinagar constituency, is also one such political leaders who hardly raised any question during his tenure as MP. As a successful leader, he has served for 6 years in the Central Government as the post of Deputy prime minister and Home Minister. Advani was the Leader of the Opposition in the 10th Lok Sabha and 14th Lok Sabha. This veteran Indian political leader began his political career as a volunteer of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a right-wing Hindu nationalist organization.
Sonia Gandhi: UPA Chairperson, Sonia Gandhi has not participated in any parliament debate since 2006, the records in a website proves it. Ever since UPA came to power, she rarely spoke in parliament, limiting herself to speech on felicitations. The only issue based debate she has participated ever since her party came to power is “Discussion on National Rural Employment Guarantee Bill, 2004.” Also taking into account the number of questions asked, zero questions were asked by her from the time she stepped in LS career. However, it was Sonia who instrumented Congress to rise back to power in 2004. In the coming polls, she will be contesting from Rae Bareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Mulayam Singh: Samajwadi Party Chief and Former CM of Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav who had always kicked up controversies are mostly known for delivering many misogynist statements. But he is often mum when it comes to question hour in parliament sessions. If not for asking questions, he is often in the limelight for publicly criticizing the BJP Prime Ministerial Candidate Narendra Modi over Gujarat riots in 2002 or for condemning the present ruling government over many issues related to the country. This Samajwadi supremo is all set to contest from two seats for 2014 polls—from Mainpuri and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Jaswant Singh: BJP’s senior leader, Jaswant Singh has held many portfolios in the national cabinet including Finance, External Affairs and Defence during the NDA regime. Singh is a self-described liberal democrat even though the Bharatiya Janata Party is often described as a right-wing nationalist organization. Though he is known for his moderate political views, he hardly raised any relevant issues related to India’s security in the parliament. This former National Democratic Alliance will be contesting Lok Sabha elections from Darjeeling, West Bengal.
Shibu Soren: Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Morcha Shibu Soren was the first serving Union minister to be convicted for murder of his former private secretary, Shashi Nath Jha in 1994. He allegedly did so to cover up a case of corruption and sodomy. He represented the Dumka constituency of Jharkhand in the 14th Lok Sabha and is the President of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) political party, a constituent of the UPA. The politico who hogged limelight for the wrong reason too failed to speak up in a parliament proceedings.
Kalyan Singh: The Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Kalyan Singh has served three times as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. During his tenure as a CM, Singh and his government are always under the scrutiny of Liberhan Commission for pre-planned manner events, misuse of power, attracting youth for support and allowing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to run the state government directly. Later in January 2010, he announced the formation of a new Hindutva-oriented political party, the Jan Kranti Party, but chose to take the role of patron while his son became the leader.
HD Deve Gowda: Former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda has not asked a single question in the 15th Lok Sabha so far. The five-year term is ending in about three months. The supremo of the Janata Dal (S), presently representing Hassan as an MP, has surprised political observers by posing no queries through this tumultuous term. “As a former prime minister, I can’t ask starred or unstarred questions,” Deve Gowda said, in his defense. (A question listed with an asterix or star gets a verbal answer in parliament. An unstarred question gets a written reply from the minister concerned, and is open to supplementary queries), reports Indian Express.
Chandrasekhar Rao: Telangana Rashtra Samithi Chief, K Chandrasekhar Rao is the main force behind the creation of the new state. This leader stresses that people of the both states could flourish with cooperation and said Seemandhra people who are in Telangana “are our brothers and sisters”. Rao who is a Member of Parliament from the Mahaboobnagar constituency of Andhra Pradesh hardly raised any queries in the House and as such included in this list.
Satabdi Roy: Actress turned politician Satabdi Roy has also come up in the list of the politician who did not raise queries in the house. She has been serving as a Member of Parliament from the Birbhum constituency in West Bengal since 2009. Prior to joining politics, she is an actress, director and teacher of acting in the Bengali language film industry as well as an author of poetry in Bengali.
Roy made her film debut in the film called Atanka, directed by Tapan Sinha, which was released in 1986. More recently she acted in Fight 1:1, released in 2011. In the upcoming polls, she will be fighting on All Indian Trinamool Congress ticket.