Sushmita Dev records great performance in her first tenure as MP

Sushmita Dev records great performance in her first tenure as MP

Nehal Jain | April 13, 2019 13:07 hrs

GUWAHATI: Sushmita Dev, a member of the Indian National Congress and the President of All India Mahila Congress, is the sitting member of Parliament from Assam’s Silchar constituency. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, she received 3,36,451 votes while her nearest rival from BJP, Kabindra Purkayastha polled 3,01,210 votes. 

This time too, the Congress has fielded Dev from Silchar constituency where she will be going against Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate Dr Rajdeep Roy.

History says that in the absence of a strong Muslim candidate in Silchar, it's usually advantage Congress. Father of the sitting MP, late Congressman Santosh Mohan Dev had represented Silchar five times out of his seven terms as Member of Parliament. 

Dev holds a degree in BA (Hons) from Miranda House, an LLB (Corporate and Commercial Laws) from University of Delhi and an LLM from King's College London.

Born to a family of politicians, she entered the state assembly in 2011. Dev became a member of the Assam Legislative Assembly in 2011 and served in the post till 2014. She was appointed as a member of Committee on Empowerment of Women and Standing Committee on Science & Technology, Environment & Forests in September 2014 and as a member of Joint Committee on the Enforcement of Security Interest and Recovery of Debts Laws and Miscellaneous Provision (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in May 2016. Additionally, she was appointed as a member of The Central Advisory Committee for the National Cadet Corps in 2018.

The incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) from Silchar constituency, Sushmita Dev has made a place of distinction for herself by her performance in and outside the Parliament and was crowned with the honour of being the best parliamentarian in 2017. The Congress is now confident that Sushmita Dev will continue to rein in Silchar.

Silchar MP records 80% Lok Sabha attendance 

According to the data published by PRS Legislative Research, the sitting Member of Parliament from Silchar constituency, Sushmita Dev, recorded 80% attendance during her tenure in the Lok Sabha. It is to be noted that the national average attendance of MPs in the Lok Sabha stands at 80% while the state average stands at 74%.

Interestingly, only six Members of Parliament (MP) in the 16th Lok Sabha managed 100 per cent attendance, none of whom belongs to the opposition Congress party. 

Dev, who started her term with 83% attendance in the First Session, has recorded dynamic attendance throughout the tenure. While she recorded a whopping 96% and 94% attendance in the Budget Session 2014 and Winter Session 2018 respectively, she recorded merely 25% attendance in Budget Session 2016 (P.1). Further, she has recorded 100% attendance in two sessions - Winter Session 2016 and Winter Session 2017.

It may be mentioned that among the 14 MPs (7 from Bhartiya Janata Party, 3 from Indian National Congress and All India Democratic Front each and 1 Independent candidate) representing the state of Assam, Dibrugarh MP Rameswar Teli has recorded the highest attendance at 92% with Karimganj MP Radheshyam Biswas right behind at 89%. Among the lowest attendees is Barpeta MP Siraj Uddin Ajmal with 34% attendance. 

Dev attends highest number of debates among fellow state MPs

The data published by the PRS Legislative Research revealed that Dev’s performance in the Parliament is way above the state average. 

In terms of the total number of parliamentary debates attended, the national average has been calculated at 67.1 debates per MP, state average is calculated at 46.6 debates per MP, but Dev has been present at 85 debates, which is the highest number of debates attended by an Assam MP in the 16th Lok Sabha.

She has attended debates pertaining to issues relevant to Assam like the updation of National Register of Citizens and request to not create any harassment to the genuine citizens of India who are living in Assam, demand to sanction adequate relief funds for northeastern states to mitigate the effects of flash floods, need to revive Cachar Paper Mill and Nagaon Paper Mill in Assam, demand for rhino conservation and rhino corridors, Aadhaar enrolment in Assam and expedite pending rail and road projects in Assam.

Further, she has attended various debates pertaining to national issues, especially women and child related issues. These include debates on The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2018, The Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Bill, 2016, request to sanction the requisite amount for the construction of the Nirbhaya Centres across India, and regarding safety of women.

318 questions raised by Dev in the last 5 years

Sushmita Dev has fared well in terms of the number of questions raised by an MP in the Parliament as well. While the national average stands at 293 questions and state average is just 164, Dev has raised a total of 318 questions. 

Only one other state MP, Badruddin Ajmal with 404 questions, has surpassed Dev in terms of the number of questions raised.

The Silchar MP has asked a slew of questions pertaining to matters of state and national importance. Among the various issues on which she has raised questions are - Applicants for citizenship, Revival of paper mills, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, Triple Talaq, Funds to Assam, Safe city plan for women, Solid waste management, Production of coal, Nirbhaya fund, Policy for sanitisation and UNICEF Report on Child Deaths.

The last question raised by Dev was on February 13, 2019. The question, raised to the Railway ministry, was related to the incidents of looting. 

3 Private Member’s Bills introduced by Dev, all remain pending  

Sushmita has surpassed the state as well as the national average in terms of the number of Private Member’s Bill raised by an individual MP in the Lok Sabha as well.
While the national average is calculated at 2.3 Bills per MP and state average is 0.8 Bills per MP, Sushmita Dev has raised a total of three Private Member’s Bills in her first term in the Parliament.

The bills introduced by Dev are - The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Amendment of article 32, etc), The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2017 (Insertion of new Chapter IIA and IIB), and The Gauhati High Court (Establishment of a Permanent Bench at Silchar) Bill, 2016

However, all the three bills are still pending before the Lok Sabha. 

It may be mentioned that the last time a Private Member’s Bill was passed by both Houses was in 1970. This was the Supreme Court (Enlargement of Criminal Appellate Jurisdiction) Bill, 1968. Fourteen private member’s bills — five of which were introduced in Rajya Sabha — have become laws so far.

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