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Sachin, Rekha missing in Parliament: Do celebrities deserve to become peoples’ representatives?

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Sachin and rekha are facing flak
The luminaries of their respective field, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood actress Rekha are currently under attack for low attendance in the Parliament. Fellow parliamentarians have severely criticised these 'icons' for not attending the parliament.

Broader question is why these celebrities are being nominated when they are not intended to do any good to society?

Worst record of celebrities
Tendular who is considered the god of cricket has shown pathetic record in Upper House. He has attended the august house only for three days.

Last time, the cricketer had turned up to the House on December 13, 2013. Most agonizing fact is that legend not only has dismal record in attendance but he also failed to take part in any debates in these years.

Though, Bollywood diva has little better record than cricket icon who attended the Upper House for seven days. Both the celebrities were nominated to the Rajya Sabha in the category of 12 people from the worlds of sport, the arts and media in April 2012.

Sachin, Rekha spent 'zero' MPLAD money
According to a recent Times of India report, both Sachin and Rekha have not spent even one rupee from their MPLAD fund on development in their respective adopted areas.A Rajya Sabha MP has to select one area of his choice which he will develop in the respective time of 5 years.

Sachin had selected Mumbai suburban but Rekha didn't bother to even adopt any area. At present a MP gets Rs 5 crores every year to perform developmental work in their constituencies. But maximum number of time these funds remain unspent.

Dangerous trend in democracy
Condemning these celebrities' dismal record, NCP leader D P Tripathi said, "I respect Sachin as a cricketer and Rekha as an actress but their conduct as nominated members of Rajya Sabha is despicable to say the least. "They have insulted Parliament and Indian Constitution by their behaviour and continued absence, and such people should have never been nominated to this august house".

Without taking names, Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agarwal took swipe on these truant people's representatives. He said, "These MPs were selected so that they can be present and make a difference in the society. But I have never seen him in the house".

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the House P J Kurien has said that they have not violated any rules yet. He said, "As per Article 104 of the Constitution, if a member is absent from either House of Parliament for a period of 60 days then the seat is considered vacant.

In case of Sachin Tendulkar, he has not attended the Parliament for 40 days whereas Rekha's absence is less than this".

Records of other Bollywood stars
Recently, Bollywood actress Hema Malini faced the flak for ignoring the people of her own constituency Mathura. A group of irate people even put up 'missing' posters and burnt her effigy for not turning up after the Lok Sabha victory. Bollywood nightingale Lata Mangeshkar's record is also very dismal on the attendance. She attended only 6 out of 170 sittings in 2000-01.

It's not that all celebrities are like that only. Actress Shabana Azmi has best record who attended 113 out of 170 sittings in Upper House. Similarly, her husband Javed Akhtar had attended 66 out of 147 sittings, Dara Singh (76/127) and Mrinal Sen (30/170).

Recently Bollywood actor Govinda also rued about his stint in politics saying that it was worst decision of his life. As a Congress candidate, he had defeated BJP's Ram Naik in 2004 Lok Sabha election. When these celebrities believes that politics are not their cup of tea then why they dabbles in it. Is it because of money matter they plunges into it.

When they don't have time, why dabble into it?
Though Sachin Tendulkar is now giving the reason that his elder brother Ajit is not doing well and that is why he has maintained this truant approach, but when he can manage time for doing advertisement and other obligations why he can't attend Parliament.

The fledgling party AAP is accusing that Congress had nominated them to get political mileage in election which is at some extent is true. If they really don't want to make any difference as a parliamentarian why then they accepted the offer. Why not rejected right there?

It's time these celebrities must realise that they have got golden chance to do something good for the people. And that shouldn't be wasted like this only. Otherwise they lose the right to criticise the so called mainstream politicians, when they themselves could't do any good after getting an opportunity.

Story first published: Saturday, August 9, 2014, 16:43 [IST]
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