Congress Rewarding Incompetence and Non-Performance

Congress Rewarding Incompetence and Non-Performance | ~Lamkhanlal
article-logoBy retaining incumbent Member of Parliament from Outer Manipur Constituency, Shri Thangso Baite as its candidate for the forthcoming 16th Lok Sabha elections, the Congress is sending a very wrong signal to the people of Outer Manipur. The renomination of Shri Baite is a testament to the fact that the Congress is not serious about the issues and problems faced by the tribal people and this is nothing but rewarding incompetence and non-performance.

The following facts speak for themselves:

1. During the entire 15th Lok Sabha (2009-2014), Shri Baite raises only nine (9) questions in the Lok Sabha, a record low. The average number of questions asked by MPs during the 15th Lok Sabha is 297 (Indian Express, February 22, 2014). In comparison, Dr. T. Meinya, the Inner Manipur MP raised 197 questions during the 15th Lok Sabha.

2. Shri Baite participated in a mere 3 debates during his entire term of 5 years, and that too, in one of them he simply “associates” with the issue raised by Inner Manipur MP, Dr.T. Meinya. In comparison, Dr. T. Meinya took part in 53 debates.

3. He did not move any Private Member Bills or Private Member Resolutions during his entire term.

Some may argue that he, being a member of the ruling party, did not raise questions and issues in the House. That a ruling MP cannot and should not ask questions is simply not true. Ruling MPs ask questions, and some ruling MPs ask more questions than most opposition MPs. The records are there for all to see in the Parliament website-both Lok Sabha's and Rajya Sabha's. Why should a ruling party MP ask questions?

1. It is the right of MPs to ask questions to the Government-whether they are from the ruling party or from the opposition party. No rule disallow ruling MPs to ask questions. They are elected to voice the grievances and problems of their constituents in Parliament. So anything that affects their constituents and on which the Central Govt is responsible, they have a right and they should ask questions on the floor of the House.

2. It is a good way of making yourself heard, making your presence felt, showing your abilities and talents to the party or high command. Asking questions, participating in debates, etc is your way of showing that you have what it takes to be a good Parliamentarian and your potential to be a Minister.

3. It can be used for ruling MPs to highlight the achievements of their party by asking questions on the Govt.'s initiatives, schemes, etc. It can be, and is used by ruling MPs to indirectly highlight the achievements of their party on the floor of the House.

4. It is also used by ruling MPs so that it reduces the space for opposition MPs to ask more questions (which more often than not are uncomfortable for the ruling party). In this way also, it indirectly helps the ruling party.

The argument that being a ruling party MP, he is not asking questions or raising issues is simply fallacious and nothing but an excuse. Parliament is a law-making body, a deliberative body, so we need people who are well-educated, knowledgeable and who could contribute to this deliberative body by participating in debates and discussions in the House.

Shri Baite took the credit for the opening of Staff Selection Commission (SSC) exam centre in Churachandpur.  This is also a white lie. He addressed the media at Churachandpur and claimed that he raised the issue of opening of SSC centre in Churachandpur on the floor of Lok Sabha and that it was decided in the Lok Sabha that new SSC exam centre should be opened in Lok Sabha. There is nothing further from the truth than this. Firstly, the issue of opening of SSC exam centre in Churachandpur was never raised on the floor of Lok Sabha. If he claimed so, he should furnish documentary proof in the form of verbatim record of the proceedings of the Lok Sabha in this regard.  Secondly, opening of new SSC centre is an executive decision and Parliament is not the competent authority to grant a new SSC centre. Parliament can not and will not pass a decision/resolution for opening of new SSC centre, as claimed by Shri Baite.

During the recent crimes/atrocities against the Northeast people, Shri Baite remained a mute spectator. In fact, the minor girl who was raped, the two NE guys beaten up at Madangir and the NE guy stabbed in Saket all belonged to his constituency. But he never raised these issues in Parliament. It was Shri Birendra Prasad Baishya, Rajya Sabha MP from Assam and Dr.T.Meinya, Inner Manipur MP who raised these issues in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha respectively. These speak volumes about the care and concern he has for his people. He, in fact, failed in his basic duty of voicing the concerns and grievances of his people in the Parliament.  

Giving Shri Baite the Congress ticket for the next Lok Sabha elections is therefore akin to rewarding incompetence and non-performance. But maybe he is rewarded for never speaking against the majority Meitei community, whose interests, are not always in conformity with the interests of the tribal people. In other words, he is rewarded for doing and saying nothing. This is nothing but taking the tribal people for a ride, that their interests and issues need not be raised and spoken of. It shows how much the Congress party care for the rights and wishes of the tribal people. And it is about time the tribal people stand up and say that we cannot be taken for a ride any longer.