At the end of the day, manam entha efficient ga work (or) perform chestunnam anedi oka report card dwarane telusthundi. Anduke school lo progress report lu untai, mark sheet lu untai, konchem peddaithe certificate Lu untai. Ivi kevalam manakena, prajala badhyata tisukunna MP la kuda report cards unte? Yes unnai asalki ee matter ento telsukovali ante nenu kaadu aa “Yuva Galam” maatalone vinandi.
Yuva Galam Report on First Year of Lok Sabha MPs 2019-20
The Indian Parliamentarians represent and are accountable to the largest number of voters in the world with more than 15 lakh voters and nearly 25 lakh citizens on average in a constituency. The strength of our Parliament was last revised in 1977 based on the 1971 census that put the Indian population at around 55 crores. We have more than doubled in population since then but the size of our Parliament remains the same, each successive MP in a constituency having to face more and more demands from a rising electorate. Parliament sessions have decreased in length with budgets and important bills not being deliberated upon with the importance or time they deserve.
These trends give rise to the question if MPs should even be measured on how they perform in the Parliament in an increasingly executive-centric democracy like India. However, we at Yuva Galam argue that this is precisely why they must crucially be held accountable for how they utilize their mandate. Despite its shortened sessions, the 17th Lok Sabha has been more productive than previous ones. Instruments such as asking questions and raising issues through debates are important means through which the government is made responsive. Yuva Galam works to make the performances of our elected representatives transparent and quantifiable to the general public. Continuous assessment keeps our MPs vigilant and responsible in their duties. Our MP Report Cards and the current progress report on overall performance is an effort to make Indian politics more responsive and empathetic to public concerns. They serve as a strong tool to keep the citizens and voters informed about their MPs.
It has been a year since India elected its MPs in what is turning out to be its most crucial general election yet. How have they performed individually, state-wise, and party-wise? Have the youngest out-performed the oldest MPs? Are women better than men? Yuva Galam tries to explore these questions and gathers more such insights for the year 2019-20. Yuva Galam is committed to bring the performance of MP based on three indicators with a strong belief that these report cards would be critical in exploring deeper insights in individual and state level performances.
– Comparing MPs of South India and Andhra Pradesh
In its first year, the 17th Lok Sabha functioned for a total of 80 days between its first sitting on June 17, 2019 and its last sitting on March 23, 2020. This past year saw important legislations passed in the Parliament, be it constitutional amendments to Jammu & Kashmir’s autonomy or changes to the Citizenship Act 1955. The performance of MPs must be seen in this context.
Which state had the most vocal MPs fighting for national and regional interests? To explore this, we compiled a chart comparing state averages of the five South Indian states with the national average. Kerala is well ahead of the rest with Tamil Nadu MPs second best. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana’s performance on the parameters of debates participated in, questions asked, attendance record and private bills introduced was below the national average. It is pertinent to note that none of the 66 MPs from Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Karnataka introduced a private member bill Premachandran (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and Shashi Tharoor (Congress). NK Premachandran, representing the Kollam constituency has been prolific with 7 private member bills, the highest in India. He is South India’s best-performing MP by a distance.
P.s: This table only includes MPs who are not Ministers
– TDP Vs YSRCP MP Report Cards (2019 – 2020)
Andhra Pradesh’s YSR Congress is the 4th biggest party in Lok Sabha after BJP, Congress, and DMK. Remarkably, it garnered nearly 50% vote share in the general elections, unprecedented for a regional party in 2019 or before. As an editorial pointed out in The Hindu, Andhra Pradesh was proof that “a hardworking hard-working regional leader with effective political messaging can resist top-down hyper-nationalism.” It was a mandate to strive for the interests of a new state with weak finances. We analysed the performances of all the 25 MPs from Andhra Pradesh and compared this on the lines of their parties – YSR Congress & Telugu Desam. 7 out of these MPs had 75% or lower attendance as opposed to national average of 85%. 8 MPs asked less than 30 questions as opposed to the state and national average of 49. Among the MPs, Suresh Nandigam and Goddeti Madhavi did not ask a single question while 6 MPs participated in 3 or less debates.
– Deterioration of the Parliament as an Institution
Though all the parties in Andhra Pradesh fought the polls on the plank of safeguarding state interests and fighting for Special Status, this does not reflect in the numbers. State average in the 3 parameters is equal to or lesser than the national average when it comes to asking questions, participating in debates, or in attendance records. It could mean the institution of the Parliament, rather than being the fulcrum of our electoral democracy, has an instrumental value that is deteriorating gradually. The fight for state interests is probably being fought elsewhere through state government and administration but not as much by its MPs. Though there have been exceptional MPs such as Kanumuru Raghu Ramakrishna Raju and Vanga Geetha Viswanatham among others, the overall record indicates that the Parliament might not be seen as the best space to fight for regional interests.
To assess the MP performances quantitatively, we devised a scoring system that gave weights to the parameters of attendance, debates participated in, and the number of questions asked. We determined that Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju, first-time MP from Narsapuram, is the best performing MP from Andhra Pradesh. He’s followed by Galla Jayadev (Guntur constituency), Vanga Geetha Viswanatham (Kakinada constituency), K Rammohan Naidu (Srikakulam constituency), and Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu (Narasaraopet constituency). Telangana’s best performing MP is Asaduddin Owaisi (Hyderabad constituency) but AP’s best 3 MPs outscore him while its 4th best MP nearly equals his score.
It must be noted that these quantitative scores might not give us the full picture of an MP’s intervention and type of questions she asks. Her speeches and the erudition she brings to some debates might be better than another MP participating in more debates. Same can be said of attendance being used in the scoring system. It only indicates a certain commitment to attend the Parliamentary proceedings but it might not necessarily reflect the quality of an MP’s participation. For example, YS Avinash Reddy (Kadapa constituency) has the least attendance record (45%) but asked the most questions among all the Andhra MPs. Others with a high attendance record asked questions far lesser than the state average in asking questions.
Among other pertinent statistics, AP’s oldest MP is Adala Prabhakar Reddy (Nellore) at 72 years while its youngest is Goddeti Madhavi (Araku) at 27 years. Both are first-time MPs. Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju participated in the most debates (42) and also has the highest attendance (97%). As already pointed out, YS Avinash Reddy asked the most questions (102) followed by Vanga Geetha viswanatham (100), Galla Jayadev (91) and Kanumuru Raghu Rama Krishna Raju (91).
Note on Scoring system: In scoring the state MPs, we came up with a formula that assessed the importance of individual performance in a parameter against national average and with respect to other parameters. National debate average is 16.5, which is three times less than the national question average of 49. This indicates that participating in debates is much tougher than asking questions. So, we gave this parameter more importance in weighing the performances. As none of the MPs introduced any private bill, we didn’t consider this. As attendance has an absolute limit of 100%, it is not being given any weights. The formula is:
MP Score = (MP Debates/National Average)*30 + (MP Questions/National Average)*10 + (MP Attendance/National Average)
( Add the following sent images)
Magunta Srinivasulu Reddy
Ram Mohan Naidu Kinjarapu
Pocha Brahmananda Reddy
Adala Prabhakara Reddy