Elegant MPs drip style as parliament reopens:
They weren’t fashion
models, but when MPs young and old walked in on the first day of the
winter session of parliament Thursday, they sure....
session of Lok Sabha
Amid the noisy scenes, which are almost a routine in the two
legislative houses, there is one place in Parliament House where you
can hear a pin drop - it is the library that is barely used by a
dozen of the 790 MPs.
at the 55,000-sq. m. Parliament Library provides a solace from the
din. At 1.30 p.m. during the session days, any noise in the library
cannot disturb the readers — because there is not a single visitor
to the architectural milestone created by Raj Rawal.
not too many visitors to the library,” an employee in the deserted
room told IANS, after finishing a long chat on the phone.
employee, who didn’t want to be named, said there are only 10-12 MPs
- of the total 790 members (Lok Sabha 545 and Rajya Sabha 245) - who
are regular visitors.
see more than 10-12 MPs using the library regularly, and
occasionally another 40 members do visit,” he said, adding it is a
“sorry state that MPs don’t make use of such a huge treasure trove
of resources and books.”
library, according to records at present, has over 1.27 million
volumes of books, reports, parliament debates, gazette
notifications. It also receives 150 Indian and foreign newspapers
and 587 periodicals in English, Hindi and other Indian languages
It also has
a press clipping service catering to the latest information needs -
if there are any - of the MPs. It has relevant and up-to-date news
items, editorial comments and articles on developments in the
legislative, political, economic, socio-cultural, scientific and
Parliament Library - currently the second largest in the country
after Kolkata’s National Library - is set to become the biggest in
the country with hundreds of books and periodicals being added every
month. The library complex was built some six years ago next to
division also brings out its own monthly publication - Parliamentary
“I find it
extremely useful,” said Brinda Karat, Rajya Sabha MP from the
Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), who the library staff says
is among the few regular visitors.
emergency during the middle of a debate, the library has references
available on anything under the sky,” Karat told IANS.
why are MPs not making use of it? Karat laughed it away with,
“Sorry, I cannot comment on that.”
has his or her own ready reference. And may be they are borrowing
books through their staff,” the CPI-M leader said, still laughing.
If MPs have
their own libraries then why did the government build a Rs.200-crore
architectural marvel? Karat and other MPs IANS tried to speak to had
from the library staff and the Lok Sabha secretariat was willing to
speak on how much the daily upkeep of the library costs.
know, but the electricity bills, computer and other maintenance and
staff salary runs into lakhs of rupees per day,” said an official.
official said, missing books from the library was a “problem”.
don’t return their books on time. But after an Election Commission
directive, it is mandatory for all MPs to pay their dues if they
fail to return the books,” he said, refusing to give details of
winter session of the Lok Sabha ended Dec 18, while the Rajya Sabha
ends Tuesday (Dec 22).
Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at