Ideally, people’s representatives are there to serve the citizens in
democratic set up, take up their issues and concerns. But that is
hardly the case and most tend to behave as ‘Feudal Lords’. There
exists no mechanism to make the people’s representatives publicly
accountable or to be able to keep a check on their functioning,”
says the letter terming the present day Indian Politics as nothing
less than the modern form of feudalism while, also, questioning the
facilities provided to elected public representatives, especially as
they are funded by the tax payers’ contribution. In the present
system everyone, even the poorest of poor, is contributing to these
expenses in direct or indirect ways, in the taxes they pay on basic
items like salt.
In this pretext, the open letter demands framing of rules not only
to govern functioning of these public representatives but also to
initiate disciplinary action if they violate them.
The letter signed by representatives from
Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan) and Jyoti
Karmachari Mandal have placed the following points before the
political parties and the public as well for open debate while
inviting the political parties to make their stand clear.
The salary, facilities and perks provided as per the ‘The Gujarat
Legislative Assembly Members Salaries and Allowances Act, 1960 be
henceforth discontinued. Instead, double the amount of minimum wages
as fixed in the state should be paid to them.
The elected representatives should also be covered under the ‘The
Provident Fund Act, 1952 and ‘The Employees State Insurance Act,
1948’ and alike the workers, their contribution should be deducted
from their salaries.
The elected representatives will be given a pair of uniform made
from ‘Khadi’ or ‘Handloom ‘material which they should wear during
while they are on duty.
Alike other workers, they too can avail sick leave, casual leave and
related leave facilities.
The elected representatives will be barred from taking any type of
gift as a representative and action will be taken for the violation.
A ‘Committee Against Sexual Harassment’ will be appointed specially
for the elected representatives as per the Supreme Court Judgment in
Vishakha v/s State of Rajasthan. A special committee to look in to
the complaints about Domestic Violence by them, against women in
their family will be constituted.
To assist the elected representatives with their public works, they
can choose five persons from their constituency. And they too will
be paid at par with elected representative.
The government will provide for an office to the elected
representative in their constituencies, which will be simple, but
with adequate facilities. The office will remain open on all working
days except on government holidays where the five salaried workers
will be accessible to the public.
During the session as well as afterwards, it will be compulsory for
the representative to remain present in the office during the fixed
hours in office.
Every elected representative will be given a BSNL mobile phone on
which the citizens can connect for free. As long as the phone is
used for public work and not personal, the bills will be reimbursed
Every three months, the representative has to organize a public
meeting in which they will make public all the works they have
undertaken and also answer all the queries of the citizens of the
area. They will also detail the plans for the forthcoming three
months and the minutes of the public meeting will be documented.
This documentation will be a public record, which will be shared
with the people and in a press conference to be held after every
such public meeting.
The public representative will use only public transport for
official work during the tenure and if they use private transport
then they will not be paid any travelling allowance for that trip.
Instead of individual accommodations, elected representatives, MLA
or MP will get a dormitory facility in groups of ten.
All the ministers can avail two bedroom flats during their tenure.
Due to such communal living, it will reduce the burden of security
cost and make it easier for security arrangements.
During the session, the elected representatives will be provided
free of cost simple but nutritious breakfast and meals providing
2400 calories per day in a common dining hall.
They can avail free of cost meals as well accommodation in
government guest houses while they travel for fulfilling their
For all those representatives who remain absent from their office in
their constituencies, without prior intimation, their salary should
not be paid. In case if their absence is prolonged, all the
facilities due to them in addition to their salary for that year
should be withdrawn.
If the elected representative were to remain absent for a period
stipulated more than the rules permit in the House without
furnishing proper reasons, then not only the salary but perks and
all the facilities for the entire year will be withdrawn.
If they resort to violence and mayhem while taking up issues in
assembly /parliament then their salaries should not be paid for that
session. In case they persist with mayhem and sloganeering in
house, they should be suspended for that session. And if they still
persist they should be dismissed.
If an elected representative instead of raising her/his issues as
per the rule in the house, resorts to sloganeering or unruly
behaviour in the House for more then 3 times she/he will be first
suspended. If the unruly behaviour persists, will be thereafter
dismissed and will loose the right to contest the subsequent
If the elected representatives are found to be sleeping, engaged in
conversation or leaving the House, be it the Rajyasabha, Loksabha or
Vidhansabha frequently, then they will be suspended for three days.
During the period of suspension, they will have to pay for their
meals as well as accommodation facilities. Additionally, they will
have to submit a written apology to the House as well to the voters.
They cannot take mobile, laptops and similar communication devices
in the House.
During every session the elected representative have to make written
submission about the issues of their constituency as well as how
they intend to solve them. The note shall be prepared following
public hearing and discussion in their area and also should be made
public, with a copy available in their constituency office’s notice
The Speaker of the house should prepare the agenda for the session
after referring to the notes of the representatives and ensure the
detailed discussion in the House about all these issues. The
duration of the session will be fixed according to the merits of the
issues to be discussed.
The present system of grants to MLAs/MPs for carrying out various
public works in their area should be scrapped. Instead they should
make a written submission of works that need to be financed and
accordingly grants should be directly allotted by the government.
Before introducing the motion in Vidhansabha, Loksabha or Rajyasabha
for implementation of a scheme, the representative should hold a
public hearing where the citizens can submit their opinions,
omissions and amendments to the schemes. The motion will be prepared
on the basis of the public hearing’s report and the funds will be
allotted keeping in view the development needs of the constituency.
During the session at the end of each day, a press conference should
be called where media should be briefed as well as given the details
in writing about the proceedings of the day. Also, the agenda
details for the next day should be also shared with the media.
Arrangements should be made so that citizens can watch the
proceedings during the session. Also, subsidized rail and bus
service arrangements should be made for those citizens who want to
watch the proceedings, along with meals availability at minimal
Elected representatives have to make a written submission of what
they accomplished/works undertaken during the interim period between
the sessions. This information should be made public just outside
their office given to them in their constituency and failure to do
so would lead to non-payment of the salary for that period.
While contesting elections, if the candidates forget to declare the
details of their assets and property, which they have to also place
outside their office. Failing to do so, government can confiscate
their assets, which shall be used for public works.
Details of their income/assets should be furnished publicly each
year. Also, they should be audited by an auditor to be appointed by
They have to maintain a daily diary and at the end of the every
month, a copy of it should be submitted to a special all party
committee formed by the House. All these details should be put on
the House’s website as well as the constituency office.
Those who violate rules three times consecutively will be debarred
from contesting the immediate elections.
Those seeking re-election should submit the details of the works
accomplished in their previous tenure as well. Also, if their
assets/income witnesses a phenomenal rise, it should be explained in
writing. The Election Commission can reject their candidature if
they fail to do so.
A special court should be constituted
to deal with cases related to violations committed by
representatives, which shall deal with the cases at the earliest,
preferably in the period of six months.
They can avail LTC (leave travel
concession) facility to undertake a seven day trip to an area other
then their constituency to meet and study the condition of the
deprived sections as well as common citizen. During this travel
period, the state government will make home stay arrangement at the
residences of common citizens. They have to submit a report in
writing about their visit and the report should be made public.
In addition to local issues, talks and
training sessions with experts on the basic issues pertaining to the
common people and different sectors will be organised. Participation
in these sessions will be compulsory.
Every six months an oral and written examination concerning people’s
issues and their solutions will be taken. The results will be made