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Gup chup MPs

Rajitha Menon, DH News Service Feb 6 2018, 23:56 IST
Rekha

Rekha

Every few years, celebrities are nominated as MPs on the strength of their achievements in realms other than politics.

And once they get to Parliament, they make no speech, espouse no cause, make no contribution to the national discourse.

Rekha

Another notable absentee is Rekha, Bollywood diva. Her charm doesn't compensate for her attendance record: an abysmal 5 per cent. She has asked no questions, introduced no bills, and taken part in no debates. The government has spent more on her than on any other MP nominated with her. Dhana Rekha, eh?

Sachin Tendulkar

He was the most popular Rajya Sabha member on Facebook in 2017, but that is certainly not because of his oratorical skills. A member of the Rajya Sabha since 2012, he made news just by showing up in Parliament in August 2017; such was his track record in attendance. But as luck would have, the master batsman made his maiden speech on a day the House was drowned in chaos. Timing, sir, timing!

Notable exception

Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan has more than 400 questions to her credit and an impressive attendance record as well. In June, she was named Woman Parliamentarian of the Year. Jaya has fared way better than her husband Amitabh Bachchan, who got nominated and then eschewed politics altogether. He was unable even to complete his five-year term. His family was named in the Bofors scam, and he eventually got a clean chit. Movie celebrities Govinda, Hema Malini, Dharmendra, Jaya Prada and Dara Singh have also failed to make a mark.

Amit Shah's pakoda debut

Often hailed as the 'Chanakya' of Indian politics, BJP president Amit Shah delivered his maiden speech in the Rajya Sabha on Monday, a full seven months after he was inducted. He had remained silent throughout the winter session and opened his account only on Monday.

During his 90-minute speech, he made a particularly insightful observation on employment - saying it is better to sell pakodas than be unemployed.

Mary Kom

Olympic bronze medal winner Mary Kom was nominated in 2016 and has participated in two debates. While she is yet to ask any question, her attendance averages a decent 60 per cent.

Mithun Chakraborty

The actor who made his name as a disco dancer didn't do so well on the floor of the House, his attendance being just 10 per cent. He did not participate in any debate, and resigned in December 2016, citing poor health.


Notable exception

MPs get a monthly salary of Rs 50,000, besides a host of freebies and allowances. Their canteen is unbelievably cheap, and they also get free water and electricity. Their pay will soon go up by 100 per cent. And a new rule proposes automatic revision of their salaries every five years.

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