Older MPs outshone the young in parliament, say statistics

February 26th, 2009 - 10:05 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) Older MPs were far more active than younger ones in the 14th Lok Sabha that drew to an end Thursday, suggest statistics prepared by an independent research body that aims to strengthen legislative debate.
“‘Young’ MPs (those aged less than 40) participated the least in the Lok Sabha proceedings. They accounted for 11 percent of seats but only around seven percent of debates. MPs over the age of 70 accounted for 10 percent of seats and nine percent of total debates,” says the statistics by the PRS Legislative Research.

“MPs aged between 55 and 70 years accounted for almost 22 percent of seats and around 43 percent of all debates,” it says.

The ages of MPs were calculated at the mid-point of the 14th Lok Sabha - that is till 2006.

The statistics also say that MPs of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) were most involved in parliament proceedings in comparison to the number of seats while MPs of the Congress, which led the United Progressive Alliance government, participated the least.

“On an average, an MP spoke 30 times in the Lok Sabha. Of the major parties, an average Congress MP participated least in the proceedings of parliament. An average CPI-M MP participated the most,” according to the statistics.

“MPs of the (opposition) Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accounted for a quarter of all participation in debates (with 21 percent of the seats). Congress MPs accounted for 20 percent of all participation in debates (with 28 percent of seats) and MPs of the CPI-M accounted for 12 percent of all participation in debates (with eight percent of seats),” the PRS statistics says.

PRS says the MPs of the top five major parties - Congress, BJP, CPI-M, Samajwadi Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal accounted for over 70 percent of all debates in parliament.

Region-wise, MPs from eastern and southern India participated most in parliamentary debates, while those from the western states tended to participate less, it says.

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