Raipur, Oct 28 A BJP lawmaker raised the maximum number of questions during the sittings of the 4th Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly but the opposition Congress's MLAs asked more questions on an average, a report by an electoral watchdog revealed Sunday.

The BJP is in power in the poll-bound state, carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000, since 2003.

Chhattisgarh Assembly polls will be held in two phases on November 12 and November 20 and counting of votes will be taken up on December 11.

Addressing a press conference Sunday, the Association for Democratic Reforms' Chhattisgarh convener Gautam Bandopadhyay informed that during the 18 sessions of the current Assembly, sittings were held on 145 days during which legislators raised 22,892 questions in the 90-member House.

He was speaking after releasing the ADR's 'Analysis of Performance of MLAs'.

ADR was established in 1999 by a group of professors from the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad with an aim to improve governance and strengthening democracy by working in the area of electoral and political reforms.

The report said Devjibhai Patel, BJP MLA from Dharsinwa, raised 596 questions, the highest among legislators, followed by Congress members — Leader of Opposition TS Singhdeo (575), Dhanendra Sahu (572), Motilal Dewangan (562) and Umesh Patel (561).

The report, however, pointed out that on an average Congress MLAs raised 407 questions per legislator while the ruling BJP had a score of 164 questions per MLA.

The lone BSP MLA, Keshav Chandra, also put in a good performance by asking 560 questions while an Independent MLA, Vimal Chopra, came up with 539 questions, the report stated.

On the other end of the spectrum were BJP MLA Rajsharan Bhagat, who did not ask a single question, Suniti Satyanand Rathiya, who raised only 2 questions, Badridhar Diwan with nine and Govardhan Manjhi with 15 queries, Bandopadhyay said.

In the 4th Assembly, a total 123 bills were passed, mostly related to finance, commercial taxes and higher education, it said.

Surprisingly, Bandopadhyay said Chhattisgarh, heavily forested and rich in minerals, saw only one bill each passed on the two sectors in the current assembly.

As far as attendance of MLAs in the current Assembly was concerned, three MLAs — Shrawan Markam (BJP), Sarojani Banjare (BJP) and Mohan Markam (Congress) — topped the list by attending the House for 144 days out of a total 145 sittings, he said.

Three other MLAs — Dr Sanam Jangde (BJP), Ashok Sahu (BJP) and Kawasi Lakhma (Congress) — attended 143 sittings, he added. TKP BNM ABH ABH

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