First Post Politics
New Delhi

Right ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Association for Democratic Reforms has released a survey report in which respondents rated the performance of their MPs. Marked on a scale of 10, most of the VIP MPs scored poorly. Sonia Gandhi scored a 6.33 amd Rahul Gandhi scored 5.58. Sachin Pilot was one of the only MPs who scored reasonably well, with 8. Surprisingly Sushma Swaraj, who is known for her good work in Vidisha, scored only 3.52. Sonia Gandhi. PTI Founder of Association for Democratic Reforms Trilochan Sastry said, "These are voters' perceptions. Voters expect good governance from their MLAs and MPs." The results of this survey shows that despite voting them to power over and over again, the people are not happy with their MPs. Speaking on CNN-IBN, BJD MP Jay Panda said, "Constituents don't distinguish between a ward member or an MLA and an MP. Any MP would feel that his/her performance in Parliament should be the criteria. The MP has lack of administrative authority, but they cannot say this is not my job. Whatever authority I have I can use to push along and agenda." Meanwhile Congress spokesperson Abid Rasul Khan pointed out, "This particular issue of MPs not being involved in the Constituency is not acceptable. Each MP carries Rs 5 cr for development. In Rahul Gandhi's case the development has made it Amethi model constituency. In the underdeveloped state of UP Amethi and Rae Bareili are much more developed than other constituencies. But I agree we still need to do much more." Disagreeing with the results of this survey, BJP spokersperson Sudhanshu Mittal said, "There are a few dichotomies in the survey. The highest marking was to Sachin Pilot. However, in the last election, all the vidhan sabhas under him have been lost. Whereas, someone like Sushma Swaraj, who has scored only 3.52, managed to keep 7 out of 8 vidhan sabhas under her. What does that say about this poll?" "The amount of time Sushma Swaraj spends in Vidisha is remarkable," he said. Lok Satta President Jai Prakash Narayan argued that governance was indeed bad. "In general voters are disgusted with what is happening. Even with modest expectations the MPs performance is abysmal. Take educatuion, India is ranked 73 out 74 countries. RTE is a fraud. They voters are not even judging it on that. It is not what you do in a constituency, but what you do in terms of governance, as collective entities as Parliamentarians we have failed," he said. "It is amazing that people are this tolerant. We are hopelessly under-performing," Narayan added. Sastri said, "For elections the voter's perception is important. There is a general dissatisfaction. They attribute it to the MP. They still vote for them as the other person may be worse. They should take cognizance of these priorities." Meanwhile Jay Panda pointed out, "Even MPs who do perform well can get rejected. We need to separate those two issues. Any rating system that ranks Sushma Swaraj at the bottom is flawed. She is one of the best performing MPs." "MPs can't shy away from governance issues. But much more weight needs to be given to their performance in Parliament and how much time they spend in the constituency," he said. The survey has revealed the one things that people of all constituencies want are jobs. "Across the board people want employment. It is true for men, women, rich, poor, SC and ST," Sastry said. To which, Narayan reiterated, "There is dysfunctionality. Whom do people hold to account? The government is taking short cuts of freebies and populism. Someone somewhere is guilty."

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