Wayanad MP ready with a barrage of questions

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who failed to ask even a single question during the entire tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha and whose low level of participation was conspicuous all through his three terms as MP since 2004, seems to be taking a different...

AFP

As many as 10 questions have been listed in his name for this week alone.

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who failed to ask even a single question during the entire tenure of the 16th Lok Sabha and whose low level of participation was conspicuous all through his three terms as MP since 2004, seems to be taking a different stand in the 17th House. As many as 10 questions have been listed in his name for this week alone.

Gandhi has posed questions to various ministries with special focus on Kerala - he is currently an MP from Wayanad in Kerala. He has posed questions to the tribal affairs ministry on the resettlement of flood-affected tribals in Kerala and to the finance ministry on the financial assistance provided to flood-affected states, including Bihar, Karnataka and Kerala. He has questioned the rural development ministry on whether it has received proposals from the Kerala government under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana phase-III and sought details of the measures being taken to assess the state of health of various tribal communities, particularly in Kerala. He has posed questions to the railways ministry on the backlog of vacancies and the rise in contract workforce in the Railways.

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Gandhi has also questions for the micro, small and medium enterprises minister on the decline in the number of MSME registrations and the public procurement policy, besides details on plans for a credit guarantee fund to boost the startup ecosystem. There is also a starred question listed in his name for November 22 for the health minister in reference to the recommendation of the expert committee on tribal health. While Gandhi is said to be currently abroad, he is expected to be back soon to seek an oral answer to his starred query. Gandhi had also posed two unstarred questions in the budget session in July — one to the road transport ministry on lifting of night traffic ban through Bandipur National Park and the other to the rural development ministry on the moratorium on repayment of farmers’ loans.

While Gandhi is serving his fourth term as a Lok Sabha MP, past records on his performance as a parliamentarian have not been very impressive. Assessments of the performance of MPs in the 16th Lok Sabha (May 2014-May 2019) showed that while 1.42 lakh questions were asked, none was raised by Gandhi. He was one of the 31 MPs in the House who did not ask a single question. As per 'parliamentary performance' records calculated by PRS Legislative Research, the national average of questions is about 293. He also did not bring in any private member’s bills during the 2014-19 period. He did, however, participate in 14 debates against the national average of 67.1, as per PRS records. Gandhi had clocked 52% attendance against the average of 80%.
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