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Rekha’s Films Shine On But Is Her Parliament Stint a Flop Show?

Rekha was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the previous Congress-led UPA government in April 2012. 

Published
Politics
2 min read
Rekha’s track record in parliament has been abysmal. (Photo: Saumya Pankaj/The Quint)

Yesteryear Bollywood actress Rekha turns 63 on Tuesday, 10 October. While even the uninitiated would know of Rekha’s acting prowess and memorable performances in films like Ghar (1978) and Umrao Jaan (1980), how many of us know about her track record in parliament, as a nominated Rajya Sabha member?

Rekha was nominated to the Rajya Sabha by the previous Congress-led UPA government in 2012 along with others like cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar.

The 63-year-old actress’ parliament attendance and participation have however, been in stark contrast to her illustrious acting career.

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Rekha’s ‘Guest Appearance’

Rekha’s overall attendance in parliament was a mere 5% as compared to the national average of 78%.
Rekha’s overall attendance in parliament was a mere 5% as compared to the national average of 78%.
(Infographic: The Quint)

According to a report by FACTLY, Rekha held the record of not attending over a single day in any parliament session since her nomination on 27 April 2012.

Rekha’s attendance was in fact, worse than Tendulkar’s – her record, as of 31 March 2017, showed her as having attended a mere 18 out of the 348 days.

A Flop Show

Rekha took part in no debates, nor did she ask any questions in parliament in 5 years. 
Rekha took part in no debates, nor did she ask any questions in parliament in 5 years. 
(Infographic: The Quint)

Known for her wit and candour, one would have assumed Rekha would show a greater inclination towards debates in parliament. Shockingly though, in her five years in the Upper House, Rekha hasn’t participated in a single debate nor has she asked a single question during a session in parliament.

Rekha’s abysmal performance in parliament caused Samajwadi Party MP Naresh Agrawal to comment in the Rajya Sabha earlier this year, that nominated members like herself who only make ‘guest appearances’ in parliament should resign, reported The Indian Express.

Under Article 80 (3) of the Indian Constitution, the power to nominate a maximum of 12 members to the Upper House, from the fields of Literature, Science, Social Service and Art is vested in the President of India. However, it has been widely debated as to whether a seat in the Rajya Sabha ought to be ‘wasted’ on nominated members like Rekha.

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