AAP, in Lok Sabha debut, to train its MPs

New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will train its four MPs – all from Punjab – in parliamentary rules and etiquette, as also in raising the right questions and highlighting burning issues, as the 18-month-old-party makes its parliamentary debut.

In the Delhi assembly, AAP’s first-time lawmakers were sneered and jeered by the veteran MLAs of the Congress and the BJP for their ignorance of legislative practices.

Three of the four MPs are first timers who, the party thinks, need to learn and understand the nitty-gritty of the Lok Sabha rules. The fourth has served a brief term and will be attending both as a trainee and a trainer since much has changed after 1996, when he was first elected on the Akali Dal ticket.

“We certainly need training on the proceedings in the Lok Sabha. This will be chalked out in a day or two,” one of the parliamentarians told IANS, requesting anonymity.

The training session for Dharam Vira Gandhi (Patiala), Bhagwat Mann (Sangrur) and Sadhu Singh (Faridkot) – all first timers – and Harjinder Singh Khalsa (Fatehgarh Sahib) will be held in Delhi and Punjab. Punjab gave AAP all the four seats that India’s newest political party won in the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

The AAP, which was hoping to replicate is success in last December’s Delhi assembly election, however, came a cropper. It fielded some 440 candidates. In Delhi, the party failed to win even a single seat where it won 28 seats in assembly polls and went on to form the government with the outside support of the Congress.

According to sources, the ex-MPs who were fielded by AAP will train the elected parliamentarians. Thus, Khalsa will wear a dual hat.

“Considering our small strength in parliament, we might be given little time to speak. We will be trained in asking right questions in less time,” another AAP MP told IANS.

“We will also be trained on how to behave like responsible parliamentarians. We will make sure that our voice is heard in parliament,” he added.

“We would like to have intellectual backup from the central leadership of the party. We have raised this issue and we have been assured help,” another MP told IANS.

AAP may seek help from outside too. “People from outside the party might also train us. They might be academicians or professors who have expertise in their respective subjects,” one of the MPs said.

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