Young MPs have Parliament astir

Generational shift

Young MPs have Parliament astir


Jaya Prada: Glam MP. PTI

Though much of  “the change” has taken place “from within the family”, with sons and daughters inheriting their parental political legacies, the young MPs have, nevertheless, brought in a breath of fresh air into the hallowed portals of Parliament. Ram Sunder Das (88), who defeated former Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan in Hajipur for a seat in Lok Sabha and an aged JD-U leader George Fernandes (79), struggling to find a berth in Rajya Sabha, are not exactly the season’s flavour.

Barely recognisable faces – young men and women – can be seen in Central Hall, the library, reading room and, of course, near cafeteria and tea stalls within the Parliament complex and the adjacent annex. It is difficult to differentiate many an MP from university students and party animals. Appearing cool and nonchalant, the MPs have unwittingly also ushered in a change in the cars that drive down the spic-and-span roads immediately outside the Parliament building: slick vehicles of foreign make.

The 15th Lok Sabha has 82 parliamentarians below 40 years, double the corresponding figure in the last Lok Sabha, which was largely seen as dominated by the grand old men and women. This Lok Sabha has the largest  number of women (58) MPs, 13 more than the last one.

There is a visible swirl of colourful sarees and smart salwar-kameezes in the Lower House.

Bengali actress Shatabdi Roy , a first time Trinamool Congress MP and Hindi film actress-turned-experienced politician Jaya Prada have added a dash of glamour to the House.
Their dominant presence notwithstanding ,“the new faces” in Parliament have, as of now, neither proved their oratorial ability nor spelled out any youthful political vision for the country. Most of them are happy to occupy the back benches, making random eye contacts here, there and elsewhere. “Boys will be boys, always”, as one veteran MP put it.

The ‘papa’s MPs’ from the ruling party, who have made it to the Council of Ministers (Agatha Sangma-29, Arun Yadav-36) are yet to announce their arrival by way of “actions” or speeches in the Budget session which will conclude on August 7. Realistically speaking, they have not been left with much work.

What the youth brigade has mastered since the 15th Lok Sabha was convened is desk thumping which they do with gusto. That is an act that they have quickly picked uped from the elders in the House. The 109th Amendment Bill that extended reservation for SCs/STs for another 10 years on Tuesday saw most of the youth brigade present in Lok Sabha, pushing the green button register their ayes. They are believed to have been “taught “ how and when to push the green button before the division of votes. They checked with the veterans and kept  pressing the two buttons until the second gong was sounded. Evidently, they were happy with their “first voting experience” in the LS.

DH News Service

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