Performance of Maharashtra assembly worsening: Praja Foundation report

‘With only 6 sessions in 14th assembly; 60% average duration decrease as compared to 12th assembly’

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Geetanjali Minhas | July 12, 2023 | Mumbai


#Praja Foundation   #assembly   #Maharashtra  


The average duration of the 14th Maharashtra assembly decreased by 60% to a mere six days as compared to 15 days in the 12th assembly, according to a new report by Praja Foundation. Consequently, there was a 34% decline in duration of assembly sessions from 58 days in the 12th assembly (winter session 2011 - winter session 2012) to only 38 days in the 14th assembly (winter session 2021 – winter session 2022).

As a result, the number of questions asked too decreased by 67% from 11,214 in the 12th assembly to 3,749 in 14th assembly.

Amin Patel of Congress emerged as the ‘top ranking’ MLA with a score of 82.80 followed by Sunil Prabhu of SS(UBT) with a score of  81.30 and Manisha Chaudhary of BJP with a score of  75.05 as the top performing MLAs during the period 2022-23. Only two MLAs out of 29 achieved an overall score of 80% and above in this report card. It does not evaluate seven MLAs out of whom two are a minister and the speaker. Four MLAs were ministers from the winter session 2021 to the budget session 2022 and one was newly elected from winter session 2022.     
Elected representatives (ERs) derive their powers for functioning through the constitution. They are mandated to attend sessions, raise people’s issues, debate and participate in discussions and pass legislations. These MLAs achieved the highest scores by performing their constitutional duties effectively in deliberative forums, i.e., raising a high number of citizen issues and highest attendance in assembly sessions.

Rankings were done out of a total score of 100 on the parameters of attendance, questions asked, quality of questions asked, usage of area development fund, educational qualifications, PAN card and criminal record, if any. Rating was minus 5 in case of new FIR cases after 2019 elections as well as for pending charge sheet.

On this analysis, Sunil Rajaram Raut (SS UBT), Sadanand Sarvankar (SS), Dilip Lande (SS) were ranked among the worst performing MLAs with ranks of 29.11, 29.52 and 30.12 respectively.

The average score of number of questions asked and quality of questions asked have remained constant in the year 2022 to 2023.    

The findings of 'Mumbai’s MLA Report Card, 2023' assess performance of MLAs based on their constitutional and legislative duties and covers the period between the Winter Session of 2021 and Winter Session of 2022.

Of the 19 assemblies evaluated in the report during 2020-2022, Maharashtra stood 10th for average duration of assembly session while Kerala was the top ranking state assembly at no. 1 and Delhi was at the bottom at no. 19.

“Majority of municipal corporations in Maharashtra have completed their terms, yet elections are pending. In this context, the state legislative assembly stands as the primary platform to raise issues of public importance. However, there has been a significant decline in duration of assembly session held in recent years,” said Milind Mhaske, CEO, Praja Foundation

“In a constitutional democracy, when the third tier of governance is not ‘functioning’ (there is no elected body) for a city like Mumbai and the state assembly is not meeting adequately; there is a noticeable decline in the number of questions and issues addressed within the assembly. Less number of working days results in lesser opportunities for MLAs to attend and deliberate on public issues. In a similar period of assembly sessions, Mumbai MLAs raised a total of 11,214 questions in the 12th Assembly, but this number significantly dropped by 67% to 3,749 questions in the 14th Assembly. This clearly indicates the importance of maximising the number of days of assembly sessions,” added Yogesh Mishra, Head - Research and Analysis, Praja Foundation.
 

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