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Actor Mithun’s Leave Sparks Debate on Tendulkar’s Rajya Sabha Membership

NEW DELHI:  Actor and Rajya Sabha member Mithun Chakraborty’s plea seeking exemption from attending proceedings of the Upper House triggered a debate on the choice of nominated members – including former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar – on Monday morning.

Mr Chakraborty is a nominated member and this is the third session in which he has sought exemption from attendance. JD-U member KC Tyagi objected to Mr Chakraborty’s plea minutes after the House began the day’s proceedings. “Such nominated members need not be there in Parliament,” Mr Tyagi said. Members also raised the issue of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and actor Rekha – who are also nominated members – rarely attending Parliament.

“Sachin Tendulkar is a Bharat Ratna. He appears in advertisements of private companies but takes leave of the house,” Mr Tyagi added.

“The government should be careful while nominating members. Rekha, Sachin Tendulkar and Mithun Chakraborty remain absent citing poor health or other reasons…These people don’t participate in the proceedings and debates,” he later told NDTV.

Mr Tendulkar, who was nominated by the UPA government in April 2012 with Ms Rekha, asked his first question in the House last week. He had attended Parliament for only seven per cent of the days till December 3, according to PRS Legislative Research, an organisation that tracks Parliament.

The three MPs have not participated in a single debate so far. Mr Chakraborty who was nominated in April 2014 has been present in the House only on one of 10 days that Parliament has been in session since. Ms Rekha’s attendance record at five per cent is the poorest.

A member who is absent for 60 consecutive sittings runs the risk of disqualification.

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