MUMBAI MLAS’ REPORT CARD SHOWS CRIME, CORRUPTION ON THE RISE: PRAJA
Criminality and corruption have increased steadily among Mumbai’s legislators, a report card released by voluntary organisation Praja Foundation on Monday revealed. An analysis of 32 MLAs from the city found that while 15 of them had criminal charges before the 2009 assembly elections, 10 had new criminal cases registered against them till December 2012, and 16 were charge-sheeted in the same period. Their performance in the legislature too didn’t provide much reason for optimism, with attendance dipping over the last three years. And they raised fewer questions in 2013 compared to the previous year. A corresponding survey of 25,000 Mumbaikars, however, showed citizens today place even greater faith in their legislators.
Where’s your MLA on this report card?
Of 10 Best Performers, 5 Are From Cong
Mumbaikars, who are gearing up for election season, can draw some direction from the MLA Report Card 2013 released by the Praja Foundation on Monday.
Of the top 10 best-performing MLAs, five were from the Congress, two from BJP, 2 from the Shiv Sena and 1 from the MNS.
Thirty-two of the 36 Mumbai-based MLAs were evaluated. Four were left out because they are ministers in the state government.
The legislators were judged on seven parameters including their attendance, criminal records, and the perception of voters drawn from a survey of 25,000 Mumbaikars. The findings reflect a steady decline in the quality of governance in the last three years, marked by increasing frustration among citizens.
Of the worst five performers, three belonged to the Congress and one each to the Samajwadi Party and BJP. Congress MLA Kripashankar Singh from Kalina constituency was right at the bottom at 32, falling from his previous year’s ranking of 28. Yogesh Sagar, BJP MLA from Charkop, retained his numero uno position from last year.
For those with criminal records, Praja introduced a system of negative markings to factor in cases that have been registered since the MLAs filed affidavits during the last election in 2009. This could be one of the reasons why Mangesh Sangle from Vikhroli, who was a top ranker in 2010 and was ranked number two last year, dropped down to the 20th rank. He was charge-sheeted after last year’s rankings were out.
The report card also rated political parties. In the overall party assessment (the parties were given weighted scores), the BJP, which has five MLAs in the city, notched up the best performance. It was followed by the Shiv Sena and the Indian National Congress. The NCP, ranked the highest last year, was pushed to fifth place after the MNS, which came in at number four
“Elected representatives in our country get appraised only once in five years by the voting public. Many people do not even vote. An independent, unbiased performance evaluation system for our elected representatives is the need of the hour,” said former Union cabinet secretary Prabhat Kumar.
Voters held mixed opinions about their MLAs’ performance. They gave them 2.89 on 6.00 for accessibility, a significant drop from 3.96 in 2011, but believed that their overall performance had marginally improved in the same period.
Maharashtra is a year away from its next Assembly elections scheduled for October 2014. Trustee of Praja Foundation Nitai Mehta hoped this performance evaluation would prompt them to do some exceptional work for their constituents during the last year of their term. “The next 12-odd months will be like their final exam, when the electorate will decide on the result – to re-elect them or to find a new candidate,” he said.
Bala Dagdu Nandgaonkar, Ramesh Thakur
(Perceived performer + perceived as accessible) MR CLEAN
Amin Amir Ali Patel, Baldev Khosla, Ramesh Thakur
(Crime-free record + perceived least corrupt)
Bala Dagdu Nandgaonkar
(Quality of Questions + No. of questions)
WORST Kripashankar Singh Prakash (Bala) Sawant Chandrakant Handore/ Mangesh Sangle
BEST Jagannath Achanna Shetty/Kalidas Kolambkar/Krishnakumar Hegde/Madhukar Balkrishna Chavan/Nawab Malik /Ravindra Waikar/Sardar Tara Singh/ Subhash Desai/Vinod Ghosalkar/ Yogesh Amrutlal Sagar
(Ranking based on number of sessions attended)
WORST Abu Asim Azmi/Pravin Darekar/ Shishir Krishnarao Shinde/ Bala Nandgaonkar/Ramchandra Kadam/ Ravindra Waikar
Amin Amir Ali Patel/Annie Shekhar/ Ashok Jadhav/Baba Sidikki/Baldev Khosa/Chandrakant Handore/Jagannath Shetty/Kalidas Kolambkar/Krishnakumar Hegde/ Madhukar Balkrishna Chavan/Milind Kamble/ Nawab Malik/Rajhans Singh/Ramesh Singh Thakur/Yogesh Sagar
(Those with no criminal FIRs are given 5 marks. Praja Foundation has provided negative marking for those with new criminal cases registered against them)
HOW THEY’VE BEEN RATED
Praja’s Mumbai MLA report card ranked the performance of 32 Mumbai-based MLAs, with 1 being the best. Mumbai elects 36 MLAs to the Legislative Assembly, four of whom are ministers in the present state government and have thus been excluded from the assessment.
MLAs have been assessed on 4 quantitative parameters and 3 qualitative perception-based parameters. The quantitative parameters are: a) quality of questions asked in the Assembly, b) number of questions asked, c) attendance, d) crimefree record. The qualitative ones are: a) perceived least corrupt, b) perceived accessibility for the public, and c) perceived performer for the constituency. (Source: The Praja Foundation)