After badly losing the Uttar Pradesh State 2014 General elections and 2017 assembly election, Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party tied up with arch-rival Mayawati for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. But that opportunist experiment also failed and SP only got 5 seats out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in UP. Akhilesh Yadav himself contested from a safe seat – Azamgarh and got elected for the 17th Loksabha. But after getting elected, neither did he visit Azamgarh much nor did he raise questions about his constituency in the parliament. I did a detailed data analysis of the performance of all the 80 Lok Sabha Members of Parliament (MPs) from Uttar Pradesh and found that Akhilesh Yadav is the worst performing MPs from UP.
I did a detailed data analysis on the four parameters for all the 80 members of Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh – (a) Attendance, (b) Questions Raised, (c) Debates participated in and (d) Private Member bills presented. I have taken the Lok Sabha data of the MPs from UP in the period of 1 June 2019 to 13 Feb 2021 from PRS Legislative database and analyzed it further.
I have kept 8 ministers from Uttar Pradesh out of the study as Ministers represent the government in debates, so PRS do not report their participation as part of debates. Ministers also do not sign the attendance register, ask questions, or introduce private member bills.
I have kept 2 MPs – Azam Khan from Samajwadi Party and Atul Kumar Singh from Bahujan Samaj Party, out of the analysis as both of them are/were in jail for a significant amount of time during the period, I have taken for analysis.
Attending a parliament is the least what is expected from any member of parliament. Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh did very well on this account. The average attendance of MP’s from UP is 88%, which is 6% more than the national average of 82% in the same period.
Akhilesh Yadav, National President of Samajwadi Party with 36% attendance has the lowest attendance among the MPs from UP (Refer Chart -1). With 44% attendance in this period, Sonia Gandhi has the second-worst attendance record among MPs from UP. It’s commendable that 4 BJPs MP from UP – Bholanath, Jagdambika Pal, Pradeep Kumar and Rajvir Diler have 100% attendance in this period. It’s also noteworthy that two six-term MPs – Pankaj Chowdhary and Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, both from BJP have 95% and 98% attendance respectively.
80% of BJP MPs have their attendance in the 90-100% range, 60% of BSP MPs have their attendance in the 90-100% range, but only 20% of SP MPs have their attendance in the 90-100% range (Refer Chart -2).
(Chart 1: Attendance of MPs from UP, compared to National & State Average)
(Chart 2: Party Wise Attendance of MPs from UP, in different data ranges)
(b) Questions Asked in Parliament
Member of Parliaments has a special instrument in the forms of questions that they can ask to the government. Through which they can bring govt’s attention to their constituency, their region, their state or to any other national problem. In this count MPs from UP on an average asked 44 questions in comparison to 66 questions as the national average. Akhilesh Yadav and Sonia Gandhi asked zero (0) questions to the government in this period.
19 MPs from BJP and 1 MP from BSP asked more questions than the national average of 66 questions. None from SP and INC MPs asked more questions than the national average. 23 MPs from BJP and 4 from BSP asked more questions than the state average of 44 questions. Following the dismal performance of their president Akhilesh Yadav in the parliament, none of the Samajwadi party MPs asked more than even the state average.
11 MPs from UP asked more than 100 questions in this period, significantly higher than the national average – Jagdambika Pal, Vijay Kumar Dubey, Ravindra Shyamnarayan, Kaushal Kishore, Harish Chandra Alias Harish Dwivedi, Ashok Kumar Rawat, Ravindra Kushawaha, Ajay Misra Teni, Vinod Kumar Sonkar, Pushpendra Singh Chandel and Bhola Singh. All these 11 MPs are from BJP. With 87 questions, Ritesh Pandey from BSP, is the at highest mark of asking questions to the government among non-BJP MPs.
(Chart 3: Questions asked by MPs from UP, compared to National & State Average)
(C ) Participation in Parliamentary Debates
People of Uttar Pradesh are considered to be positively argumentative. Healthy debates lead to thought synthesis and from there comes the solution for many problems. Parliament is the biggest platform of debating local, regional, national and global issues at the highest level in the country. MPs from UP on an average participated in 25.4 debates vs a national average of participation in 21.2 debates. Akhilesh Yadav participated only in 4 debates, a notch better than Sonia Gandhi’s participation in 1 debate.
Its noteworthy that Pushpendra Singh Chandel of BJP participated in 510 debates and Malook Nagar of BSP participated in 139 debates, significantly above the national average
(Chart 4: Debates participation by MPs from UP, compared to National & State Average)
(D) Private Member Bills
Private member bills is an important parliamentary instrument available to the Member of Parliaments to introduce a bill in the parliament and make the house debate the merits of the same. MPs from UP presented on an average 0.3 private member bills which is the same as the national average. Akhilesh Yadav and Sonia Gandhi presented no private member bills in the parliament. Only 9 MPs from Uttar Pradesh presented private member bills in the parliament. All these 9 MPs are from BJP.
Its noteworthy that Pushpendra Singh Chandel, Ajay Misra Teni & Ravindra Shyamnarayan of BJP presented 4 private member bills each in the parament in this period, which is significantly above the national average.
(Chart 5: Private Member Bills Presented by MPs from UP, compared to National & State Average)
Contrary to UP’s ex-chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, UP’s current chief minister Yogi Adityanath was quite active when he was a parliamentarian. For instance, during 2014-2017 (16th Loksabha), Yogi Adityanath participated in 57 debates against the national average of 50.6, Yogi asked 306 questions against the national average of 199 and Yogi introduced 3 private member bills against the national average of 1.5 during that period.
On all the four counts of attendance, questions asked, debates and private member bill, Akhilesh Yadav’s performance in the parliament is very dismal. He is neither seen on the field in UP nor present in the parliament. In contrast, during the covid 2nd wave, Yogi Adityanath, just after getting Covid negative, started hitting ground zero. Yogi monitored many districts within 2 weeks. During his visits, Yogi also went to Saifai (Etawah), Akhilesh Yadav’s home town and Azamgarh, Akhilesh’s LS constituency. During the same period, Akhilesh locked himself in his palatial house in Lucknow and restricted himself only to tweeting. Mulayam Singh Yadav’s son Akhilesh Yadav seems to be quite fond of luxury cars, expensive bicycles and foreign holidays. I guess that’s what keeps him busy and absent from the parliament and ground zero.
(Shantanu Gupta is an Author and Policy Analyst)