Performance of GenNext MPs limited to hype


Senior Member
Feb 23, 2009
Performance of GenNext MPs limited to hype

27 Feb 2009, 0302 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: Despite all the hype surrounding Parliament’s GeNext, the ‘young guns’ simply failed to boom. As the 14th Lok Sabha’s last sitting ended on Thursday, statistics compiled by the Parliamentary Research Service, affiliated to the prestigious think-tank Centre for Policy Research, painted a grim picture of the performance put in by its GenNext MPs in terms of attendance and participation in the proceedings.

MPs below 40 years, (labelled Young Turks by a section of the chatteratti and the political class) had the lowest attendance record in the House, at 70%. By contrast, relatively geriatric members in the 61-70 age bracket, despite old, creaking bones, had the best attendance record in both Houses of Parliament.

The study also found out that in general, the Congress had the poorest report-card among all major political parties in terms of involvement in House proceedings. Left MPs emerged at the top, participating most vigorously in the debates conducted in the Lok Sabha. Members belonging to BJP fared much better than their Congress counterparts, and were placed next only to Left parties and RJD.

GenNext MPs, though, not only made fewer appearances in the two Houses of Parliament, they were also found to be not up to the mark in terms of participation in the proceedings. This group, according to data provided by the Lok Sabha Secretariat on which PRS based its conclusions, accounted for 11% of the seats in the Lok Sabha, but only around 7% of the debates. In short, they were laggards in participating in Lok Sabha proceedings.

On an average, each young member was found to have participated in three debates, while each MP in the age-bracket 56-70 years was found to have taken part in at least 5 debates. In terms of performance, they fared much better. They accounted for 22% of the seats in the Lok Sabha, but took part in 43% debates.

The PRS study is certain to come as a huge disappointment for all those who have been clamouring for the induction of fresh faces in Parliament. Their report-card shows that they have belied all expectations of a marked improvement in the quality of House debates on account of their greater involvement.

In the general group, an average CPM MP was found to have participated in 47 debates in all. This was followed by RJD (39 debates per MP on an average) and BJP (37). Congress was placed far behind, and each member was discovered to have participated in 22 debates only.

Again, MPs hailing from West Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and southern states outscored their counterparts from western states in terms of the level of their involvement in House debates.

But what should worry each party was the marked decrease in the numbers of days on which the two House of Parliament met in 2007. Parliament met for only 66 days that year. This was the lowest in the last few years, except for 2004, which happened to be an election year.

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