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Among Celebrity Politicians, Kirron kher Tops in Attendance at Parliament, Rekha gets the lowest score

The national average attendance rate for lawmakers in Parliament: Lok Sabha MP 82 percent and for Rajya Sabha MP 79 percent

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Kirron Kher with her husband Anupam Kher. WIkimedia Commons

New Delhi, Sept 03, 2016: Bollywood celebrities’ attendance at the parliament house was taken into account. It shows that well-known actress BJP MP Ms.Kirron Kher is at the first place when it comes to attending the sessions whereas veteran actress Rekha is last on the list.

As studied by the PRS legislative research (a non-profit organization involved in tracking the legislative matters) Ms. Kher who is the representative of Chandigarh LS seat holds 85 percent attendance which is counted to be the most by any Bollywood celebrity.

She was accompanied by fellow actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal who represents the  Loksabha constituency of Ahmedabad East. TMC’s  Ms. Satabdi Roy representing Birbhum and Bhojpuri actor-singer and BJP lawmaker from Northeast Delhi Manoj Tiwari were the ones registering a good attendance rate of 76 percent.

Rekha- a Bollywood actress and RS MP. Wikimedia Commons
Rekha- a Bollywood actress and RS MP. Wikimedia Commons

The national average attendance rate for lawmakers in Parliament is: Lok Sabha MP 82 percent and for Rajya Sabha MP 79 per cent.

Famous actress Hema Malini who represents Mathura had only 37 per cent attendance. Records indicate that she had participated in 10 debates and asked 113 questions.

Dev Adhikari- a TMC MP from Ghatal- scored just 9 percent attendance. The Agnishapath actor participated in just one debate.

Another TMC Rajya Sabha MP and veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty’s attendance was recorded and it was as poor as of 10 per cent. The 66-year-old actor, whose term started in April 2014, had not participated in any of the activity in the sessions.

Renown actress Rekha’s attendance was the lowest among celebrities as she clocked an abysmal 5 per cent. Nominated to the Rajya Sabha in April 2012, the actress too had not participated in any activity of asking question or debate in the sessions.

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Among others TMC’s Moon Moon Sen and Tapas Paul have a good attendance of 70 and 64 per cent respectively. Vinod Khanna, the BJP MP from Gurdaspur, Punjab scored a second class, with 59 percent attendance.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Bhagwant Mann – a comedian-turned-politician- comes from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat in Punjab. He scored an attendance of 64 percent and participated in 79 debates and asked 39 questions.

Coming to Odisha: Biju Janata Dal’s Lok Sabha MP and Odia actor Sidhant Mohapatra got 68 percent attendance to his credit. A Rajya Sabha MP Anubhav Mohanty netted 70 per cent attendance and  participated in 31 debates and asked 209 questions.

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From Uttar Pradesh, Samajwadi Party Rajya Sabha member actress Ms. Jaya Bachan had 74 per cent attendance. The famous Shotgun, ie, Shatrughan Sinha achieved 68 per cent attendance.  Sinha represents Patna Sahib Lok Sabha in Bihar. He did not participate in any debate, nor posed any question.

As the data indicate, very few celebrities had an active attendance record in Parliament.

(With input from Agencies)

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Malawi Parliament Allows Cultivation of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes

Malawi Parliament Okays Cultivation of Cannabis or Marijuana

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Legalization of the industrial cannabis in Malawi has excited many famers who abandoned tobacco due to poor prices. VOA

By Lameck Masina

In Malawi, parliament has passed a bill which allows cultivation of cannabis for industrial and medicinal purposes. Backers of the bill say cannabis will boost the economy, which is largely dependent on tobacco. Anti-drug campaigners and religious conservatives say the move will encourage recreational use of marijuana.

Former lawmaker Boniface Kadzamira first brought the cannabis bill to parliament in 2014 amid opposition from fellow parliamentarians. Now, Kadzamira says he feels vindicated.

“I am very happy that finally the bill has passed because when I was starting this issue people thought I was crazy,” he said.  “They called me names. The national assembly, in fact, the first day laughed at me; they booed at me. But I was determined because I had the facts on my fingertips.” Kadzamira says the facts included research showing that hemp — a non-drug product of cannabis — can be used to produce soap, lighting oil, medicines and other useful products.

Malawi is now one of five southern African countries  — along with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Lesotho and South Africa — that have legalized industrial hemp. South Africa went a step further in 2018 by decriminalizing recreational use of cannabis. Ben Kalua is an economics professor at Chancellor College of the University of Malawi. He says legalization will help the country diversify its agriculture-based economy.

“It’s economically viable because it has a very long value chain. It has so many by-products of industrial hemp including fiber for construction. There are all products that can be derived from that plant compared to tobacco,” he said. Malawi has long relied on tobacco, which accounts for about 13 percent of its gross domestic product and 60 percent of its foreign exchange earnings.

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Various varieties of the industrial cannabis which was grown on trial basis at Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe. VOA

Over the years, however, tobacco prices per kilogram have fallen, largely because of anti-tobacco campaigns and fewer people smoking. Tobacco farmers like Hartley Changamala say they feel they now have an alternative.

He says, “Some of us are growing tobacco because we don’t have an alternative crop to bring us income. But those who knew that tobacco farming has now become useless have stopped. So with legalization of the industrial cannabis, I feel I can benefit a lot as a farmer.” Anti-drug campaigners and religious conservatives continue to argue that legalizing cannabis will encourage recreational use of marijuana.

Nelson Zakeyu, an executive director for the NGO Drug Fight Malawi, says, “Why I am saying this is that there is very minimal difference in appearance between the two: Indian hemp [marijuana] and this industrial hemp. So that’s where the danger is, because many will be [taking] the Indian hemp as if they are taking the industrial hemp. So, we will end up having abnormal citizens in the country.”

Also Read- Xiaomi, Realme Cancel Product Launch Events in India Due To Coronavirus Concerns

Researchers say industrial hemp has a very low amount of the substance in marijuana which makes people high. Malawian President Peter Mutharika has until March 19 to sign the cannabis bill into law. The president has not indicated what he will do. (VOA)