Members of Parliament (MPs): India

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This is a collection of articles archived for the excellence of their content.

Contents

Cash-for-votes scandals by MPs

Amar Singh

The Times of India, Sep 7, 2011

July 8, 2008 | CPM withdraws support to UPA govt over India-US nuclear deal

Jul 22 | BJP MPs Ashok Argal, Faggan Singh Kulaste and Mahavir Bhagora display cash in Lok Sabha, allege they were bribed to vote for UPA. Govt wins trust vote 275-256

July 30 | Parliamentary panel set up to probe scandal

Dec 15 | Panel gives clean chit to Amar Singh, Ahmad Patel. Calls for probe into role of alleged Amar aide Sanjeev Saxena, “middleman” Sohail Hindustani and ex-Advani aide Sudheendra Kulkarni

Jan 2009 | Police begin probe

March 17, 2011

Cables on WikiLeaks allege Cong leader Satish Sharma’s aide boasted of Rs 50cr fund “to purchase support of MPs”

July 15 | SC slams Delhi Police’s “callous approach” to probe

July 17-20 | Sanjeev Saxena, Sohail Hindustani arrested

Aug 24 | Amar Singh, 5 others chargesheeted

SEPTEMBER 6, 2011

10am | Bhagora and Kulaste appear in court. Amar Singh seeks exemption from personal appearance on health grounds

10.30am | Delhi police oppose his plea. Court asks for medical records

12.30am | Amar Singh makes surprise appearance, cites kidney transplant, other ailments

3.30pm | Court sends Amar Singh, Bhagora and Kulaste to judicial custody. Puts off Amar’s interim bail plea to Sept 8

5pm | Amar taken to Tihar jail in special van

Expenditure on transit accommodation

1990-2015

The Times of India

Mar 26 2015

Since 1990, govt has spent Rs 55 crore on MPs' transit stay

The government has spent about Rs 35.75 crore on transit accommodation of MPs between 1990-91 and 201314. Sources said the outstanding bill from ITDC-run hotels and state guest houses would be another Rs 20-25 crore. With the outstanding amount piling up year after year, the Lok Sabha secretariat has issued an ultimatum to first-time MPs staying at Hotel Ashok to move to their official accommodation or foot the bill themselves. About 50 MPs are staying at the hotel, which charges Rs 9,000 per day only for the stay and buffet breakfast. The other two ITDC hotels that provide transit accommodation to MPs are Hotel Janpath and Hotel Samrat.

In a Right To Information response to Delhi resident Ved Pal, the urban development ministry has said, “No separate data of expenditure on transit accommodation after even general election is maintained.“ However, it maintains that the details of expenditure incurred during each financial year and the yearwise details were shared in the RTI reply.

“While the bill on account of such transit accommodation is raised within a year of any general election, we release the payment when we have the budget. So, the outstanding amount is increasing,“ said a government official.

Rights

Private members’ bills: MPs can table only 3 per session

Subodh Ghildiyal, MPs can have 3 pvt member’s bills per session, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

Subodh Ghildiyal, December 8, 2019: The Times of India


The LS Speaker has fixed at three the number of private member’s bills that an MP can introduce in a Parliament session, reports Subodh Ghildiyal. Also, the number of “amendments” that a member can move to the “Motion of Thanks to the President’s address” and “cut motions” to a “demand for grant” cannot exceed 10. Subodh Ghildiyal, MPs can have 3 pvt member’s bills per session, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

A private member’s bill is a legislation introduced by a “non-minister MP” through which he draws the attention to an issue that he considers is important enough to deserve a new law. Sources said the changes by Speaker Om Birla were necessitated by the realisation that too many such bills were being introduced by MPs, up to 10 a session, without much discussion taking place. Subodh Ghildiyal, MPs can have 3 pvt member’s bills per session, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

The ceiling on the unlimited private member’s bills, “amendments” and “cut motions” has been brought about by new insertions in the “Directions by the Speaker” in the ongoing 17th Lok Sabha. Subodh Ghildiyal, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

Sources said the changes by the Speaker were necessitated by the realisation that too many private member’s bills were being introduced by MPs, up to10 a session, without much actual discussion taking place. There are 542 elected MPs, minus the Speaker, in the lower House. As a senior Lok Sabha official noted, “We have noticed that an entire session passes without complete discussion on one single bill.” Subodh Ghildiyal, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

“Quality of work” is the new mantra. According to sources, the Speaker wants that debate on one private member’s legislation should be completed in two sittings. The new sense of purpose could add urgency to an institution which is viewed as crucial for giving a say in lawmaking to ordinary MPs but which has become practically non-functional over the years. Subodh Ghildiyal, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

PRS Legislative Research, a think tank, has found that too many private member’s Bills are introduced without much discussion and a handful of MPs dominate the process. Subodh Ghildiyal, December 8, 2019: The Times of India

Youth in parliament

The Times of India, Jun 05 2015

Youth in parliament: India, Sri lanka and the world; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, Jun 05 2015

Only 1 in 4 MPs in India is below the age of 45

Kounteya Sinha

The world is getting younger but the world's parliamentarians, elected to govern are getting older. The median age of the global population is around 26.4 years and among the voting age population worldwide, 49% are between the ages of 20 and 39, But the average age of those sitting in the world's parliaments is now between 51-60 years. A 20-year-old Scottish student made history in May 7 general elections in UK by becoming Britain's youngest MP since 1667. Only 2.2% of MPs in India are below the age of 30. Only 1 in 4 Indian MPs (22%) in India are below the age of 45. Less than 1.7% of MPs worldwide are under 30. India is ranked 19th among 98 countries when it comes to having MPs below age of 30.

Zeina Hilal, Inter Parliamentary Union's officer in charge on youth participation told TOI “Reducing voting age can really help and encourage youngsters to take a keen interest in politics. Also, aligning voting age with the age to be eligible to stand for elections can also be a game changer. At pre sent in India, people can vote when they are 18 years but can stand for elections only when they are 25. We want India to make both the voting age and age eligible to stand for elections at 18“.

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