In the past, it was a dream for leaders of various political parties to get elected as members of Lok Sabha.
There used to be a heavy demand for MP tickets in every party, as it is a matter of prestige for them to become an MP.
What is more, the MP post also used to be considered very lucrative as they had an opportunity to make big money through lobbying at the national level.
Even if an MP got one contract – whether it was a coal mine or an iron ore transport or even a shipping contract or for that matter even licences for a couple of petrol bunks, it would have given him an opportunity to make crores of rupees.
The MPs were frequently seen in the chambers of Union ministers with one work or the other. The central secretariat, north block and south block used to be buzzing with activity with MPs thronging the chambers.
Because of this huge opportunity to make money, party candidates never used to hesitate spending crores of rupees in the elections, both for getting tickets and also to win the seats.
In many parts, the MPs used to bear the campaign expenditure of the MLAs of the assembly segments falling under his parliamentary constituencies.
But the situation has completely changed now, especially after Narendra Modi took over as the Prime Minister of the country.
He has tightened the screws in every ministry and the MPs have virtually no opportunity to do any lobbying.
The MPs can no more lobby for any project or contract from the cabinet ministers, who themselves have no powers. Every decision taken by the ministers should be approved by the PMO.
As a result, the MPs have become just figure heads in Delhi. In fact, there is no more a mad rush for party tickets in the Lok Sabha elections.
In the recent elections in Andhra Pradesh, both the Telugu Desam Party as well as YSR Congress party witnessed huge demand for the MLA tickets, but there were not many takers for the MP seats.
“Both Naidu and Jagan had to struggle a lot to find suitable candidates for the MP tickets in many constituencies. They had to convince their senior leaders to contest the elections,” an analyst pointed out.
A newly-elected MP of YSR Congress party said he is getting bored in Delhi as there is nothing for him to do.
“The Lok Sabha sessions are very boring and we cannot understand anything as most of the MPs are speaking in Hindi. We are not able to get any work done in any ministry as the PM has kept a hawk eye on the cabinet colleagues. I am now wondering why I had spent Rs 50 crore to become an MP, which has no powers at all,” the MP lamented.