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Low attendance in Delhi Assembly, MLAs hard to reach, says report


NEW DELHI: Ahead of the Delhi Assembly elections, a report on Thursday highlighted that the attendance of MLAs had dropped by nearly 12 percent while the accessibility of the legislators with the public had gone down from 64 percent in 2016 to 49.2 percent in 2019.

The MLA report card, which was released by the Praja Foundation, provides information on the comprehensive functioning of elected representatives.  The report card analyses different parameters including attendance, quality and number of questions asked by the MLAs during the assembly sessions, criminal record and perceived performance. 

According to the report, the overall average score has fallen from 58.8 percent in 2016 to 53.8per cent in 2019 and attendance in Delhi assembly has dropped from 92.4per cent in 2016 to 80.3per cent. “We came up with our first MLA report card in Delhi in the year 2016, which was the initial working days of the current government and it is crucial to understand how this government, with a clear mandate, has performed over the last 4 years”, said Nitai Mehta, Founder, Praja Foundation.

The report has mentioned  Mohinder Goyal (AAP), Jagdish Pradhan (BJP) and S. K. Bagga (AAP)  as the top three MLAs having an average score of 73.83 percent, 72.13 percent and 71.88 percent respectively. 

The Delhi Assembly was in session for 101 days and the MLAs’ average score in terms of raising issues is just 49.3per cent in 2019. It underlined that 43 out of 60 MLAs did not score more than 50per cent on raising the quality of issues in the Assembly. 

“We have collected our quantifiable data through RTI applications over the year. We also commissioned Hansa Research to do a scientific-statistical survey from among 27,121 people of Delhi to gauge the public perception of the MLAs on the above-mentioned parameters”, said Milind Mhaske, Director, Praja Foundation.

Responding to the report, AAP MLA from Patel Nagar, Hazari Lal Chauhan said the AAP MLAs had a “good track record”.

“It is difficult to understand if the report is unbiased towards our party. In fact, I witnessed that meetings carried around Vidhan Sabha with the people were well responded to. Often, the questions raised by the MLAs go unanswered due to the Central government's directions to the officials,” Chauhan added.

Criminal cases
According to the report, thirty-three out of 60 MLAs ranked have a criminal record as of December 31, 2018, whereas, 10 of the 33 MLAs had cases registered against them as per their affidavits before 2015 state elections