MLA Report Card 2018: Low attendance, deteriorating quality of questions ails Mumbai MLAs

MLA Report Card 2018: Low attendance, deteriorating quality of questions ails Mumbai MLAs
According to Praja’s MLA report card, the city’s MLAs are not raising relevant issues of public importance (Representational Image)

The average attendance along with the quality and quantity of questions raised by 32 of 36 MLAs from Mumbai has been on the decline since 2016, according to a “report card” released by NGO Praja on Tuesday.

As per Praja, 32 MLAs, excluding four ministers, are not raising relevant issues of public importance in the 288-member Maharashtra Vidhan Sabha.

The quality of questions raised is deteriorated during this period, it stated.

Praja director Milind Mhaske said the role of the MLAs is to attend the sessions of the state legislature, deliberate and raise questions on issues of public importance as well as ask quality questions.

As per the “Mumbai Report Card, MLA Ratings 2018”, Amin Patel (Congress), Sunil Prabhu (Shiv Sena) and Atul Bhatkhalkar (BJP) are top performers in fulfilling the legislative responsibilities.

The “least performing” MLAs are Sanjay Potnis (Shiv Sena), Tamil Selvan (BJP) and Ramchandra Kadam (BJP), it stated.

Speaking to reporters at the Mumbai Press Club in south Mumbai, Praja managing trustee Nitai Mehta said the high expectations raised during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections had a “cascading effect” on the state Assembly elections held later that year.

“After the initial high, things deteriorated badly, be it crime, roads, infrastructure, malnutrition and other issues,” Mehta said.

In the last three years (including first eight months of 2018), the number and quality of questions raised by the MLAs have deteriorated, according to the report.

Mhaske said the average attendance of Mumbai MLAs in state legislature has gone down by 10.63 percent i.e from 91.88 percent in 2017 to 81.25 percent in 2018.

The number of questions asked by the 32 MLAs has also decreased from 6,199 in 2017 to 4,519 in 2018.

Mehta said the MLAs are not raising relevant issues of public importance.

According to the report, the quality of questions has significantly dropped from 58.49 percent in 2016 to 38.18 percent in 2017 and 38.36 percent this year so far.

“In 2018, as many as 16 MLAs (44 percent) have chargesheets filed against them as compared to 13 MLAs (36 percent) in 2017,” it stated.

The MLAs, especially those from the Congress, have the highest average score in the last three years (2016-2018) ranging between 76.83 percent to 68.22 percent, as per the report.

As per its website, Praja is a non-partisan organisation working towards enabling accountable governance since 1999.

With agency inputs

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