Around 58% of the 404 MLAs in Uttar Pradesh did not ask a single question since the 16th assembly was formed in the state in 2012. Worse, analysts at PRS Legislative Research found that about 9 in 10 questions were asked by only a handful of MLAs. Three of these legislators asked more than 500 questions each.
Unlike in the Parliament, more legislators from the opposition asked questions in the UP assembly as compared to ruling party MLAs. Samajwadi Party MLAs asked an average of four questions per legislator, while this number is 70 among opposition MLAs. Most of these questions came from MLAs of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), closely followed by Congress MLAs.
The SP holds an overwhelming majority in the state assembly, with 229 elected members. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has 80 MLAs, while the BJP has 41 legislators in the UP assembly. MLAs from other parties include 28 from the Indian National Congress, 8 from the Rashtriya Lok Dal, and the rest from miscellaneous parties.
Most of the MLAs in UP hold graduate degrees--and on an average, the degree holders asked more questions as well. Those holding college degrees asked 70% more questions then those without degrees, PRS' research found. Women legislators asked fewer questions than their male counterparts. At the UP assembly, if you're a male MLA, you were thrice more likely to ask a question than one of your women colleagues.
The current UP assembly, which expires on 27 May, comprises largely of older legislators. Though led by a comparatively young chief minister, Akhilesh Yadav (43), 62% of the MLAs are between 45 and 65 years of age, and only 2% are below 35 years of age. At least a dozen are 75 years or above. Only 9% of the legislators are women.
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