Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and actor Rekha have rarely been seen in Parliament since they became members two years ago, and many of their colleagues today said their poor attendance was unacceptable.
“Sachin attended the house just for three days. Rekha came just seven days” CPI member P Rajeev said in Rajya Sabha, citing a rule that says if a member is absent for 60 days, the House can declare his seat “vacant”. In his defense the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman PJ Kurien replied that Sachin had been absent for 40 days and Rekha even less. “Both Sachin and Rekha are yet to cross that threshold. No violation of the Constitution has occurred,” he said.
Celebrity parliamentarians are notorious for their poor attendance. But Sachin Tendulkar probably has the worst record of all.The 41-year-old master blaster, who retired in November, has not attended a single session of Parliament this year. He showed up for three days last year and has not participated in any debates in the House so far. An embarrassed Congress, which nominated Sachin and Rekha to the upper house, say that they may not be attending the parliament, but Sachin and Rekha have not taken a single MP privilege
When Sachin was sworn in as a member of the Rajya Sabha in June, 2012, he had promised to champion the development of sports in India. Last week, attendance data compiled till July 25 revealed that Bollywood star Hema Malini, a contemporary of Rekha, had not attended the first session of the newly elected Lok Sabha at all. Neither has Bengali actor Tapas Pal. Since the report came out, Hema Malini has been a regular in Parliament.