Rajya Sabha: Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2022 winners

Media Coverage | 18-03-2023

Former President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Lifetime Achievement Lokmat Parliamentary Award to national president of Congress and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge. (From L) Union minister of state for finance Dr Bhagwat Karad, president of NCP and MP Sharad Pawar and editor-in-chief of Lokmat Media Group Rajendra Darda are also seen.

Lifetime Achievement Award Shri Mallikarjun Kharge

Congress national president and  Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha

At present, one section of the press is seen struggling to protect the rights provided by democracy, while another large section is under political pressure. Restrictions on writing and speaking the truth cannot be considered a sign of a strong democracy. When even poetry quoted in a speech in Parliament is expunged from the proceedings of the House, it is certainly painful.

2022’s Best Parliamentarian

Shri Derek O’Brien

TMC MP, West Bengal

It is my privilege to be honoured by the elders of Parliament. I dedicate this award to my party TMC and 14 farmers who lost their lives in firing at Nandigram. Some media groups like ‘Lokmat’ are providing a platform to Opposition parties. All media should learn from it to save the reputation of Parliament.

2022’s Best Woman Parliamentarian

Smt Vandana Chavan

NCP MP, Maharashtra

It is a matter of satisfaction that ‘Lokmat’ has taken notice of my work. It is a great honour to receive the award from Sharad Pawar saheb. It is a great motivation. It has increased the responsibility to do even better and work with renewed energy to strengthen democracy in the country.

Best Debutant Parliamentarian

Shri Manoj Kumar Jha

RJD MP, Bihar

Thank you for honouring me with this great award. Democracy is a continuous process. It requires everyone’s participation. Freedom of expression plays a fundamental role in this. I am from Bihar and working in Delhi. Yet people contact me on their own. This is an example of faith in parliamentary democracy.


Lok Sabha: Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2022 winners

Former President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Lifetime Achievement Lokmat Parliamentary Award to BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab while former Union minister and senior BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi and chairman of editorial board of Lokmat Media Group and former member of Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda look on.


Lifetime Achievement Award Shri Bhartruhari Mahtab

Biju Janata Dal MP (Lok Sabha), Odisha

There is a common perception that once a person receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, their career is nearing its end. Today I accepted the award from the hands of the gentleman from whose hand I had received the award even in the Parliament. This is a major coincidence. My party has given me responsibility and people have shown their trust. It is for them that I am focusing on working with dedication.

2022’s Best Parliamentarian

Shri Asaduddin Owaisi

AIMIM MP, Telangana

I sincerely thank Lokmat for acknowledging my work. The biggest threat in the country today is the suppression of masses. I believe the sovereignty of the LS and RS will remain intact and all MPs will make concerted efforts to keep the independence of both Houses preserved.

2022’s Best Woman Parliamentarian

Smt Locket Chatterjee

BJP MP, West Bengal

It is a matter of great honour for me that ‘Lokmat’ group bestowed this honour on me. West Bengal, is the land of great personalities like Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Rabindranath Tagore, and Syama Prasad Mukherjee. Blessings of people and their support are my motivation to work.

Best Debutant Parliamentarian

Shri Tejasvi Surya

BJP MP, Karnataka

I am able to work only because of the faith and blessings shown by the citizens of my constituency Bangalore South. PM Narendra Modi and BJP leadership gave me an opportunity to serve the people and I am trying to follow the path shown by them. Thanks to ‘Lokmat’ for this honour.

Whether it is Parliament or the state legislatures across the country, the disruption of parliamentary proceedings, stalling of the discussion on serious topics, or not allowing discussion at all, and taking advantage of the confusion to pass Bills rather than logical debate have become routine affairs. At such a time, it is essential that the youth of today is made familiar with the basic structure of democracy. To ensure that the youth do not lose respect for the Parliament and legislature and to inform them that there are many model parliamentarians who work hard to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people, Lokmat instituted the ‘Lokmat Parliamentary Awards’ in 2017. This is the fourth season of this award.

Become voice of people in Parlt, fulfil their aspirations: Kovind urges MPs

Former Prez confers Lokmat Parliamentary Awards on outstanding MPs

Lokmat News Network

New Delhi

India is the only country to grant universal franchise to its citizens from the beginning. Other countries had put some conditions for obtaining the right to vote. Women in India got this right from day one unlike many developed nations where they had to struggle, said Ram Nath Kovind, former President of India. He was addressing the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2023 function as chief guest in New Delhi on Tuesday. He also urged the MPs to fulfil the aspirations of people and become voice of common man in the Parliament.

Former Union minister and senior BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, national president of Nationalist Congress Party, MP and chairman of Board of Jury of Lokmat Parliamentary Awards Sharad Pawar, national president of Congress and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh Narayan Singh, Union minister of state for finance Dr Bhagwat Karad, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman of Editorial Board of Lokmat Media Group  and former member of Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda, and Editor-in-Chief of Lokmat Media Group and former minister Rajendra Darda, managing director and editorial director Devendra Darda, joint managing director and editorial director Rishi Darda, executive director and editorial director Karan Darda  were present on the dais.

Kovind further said that when the Father of Indian Constitution Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar proposed universal franchise and it was accepted unanimously. The former President said democracy had an old tradition in the country. You find mention of sabhas and samitis in ancient literature. There is mention of janapadas like Licchavis in Buddhist literature. Parliamentarians of India must keep this ancient tradition in mind while discharging their responsibilities.

Congratulating all the award winners, Kovind said that poor and deprived people reposed a lot of faith in MPs and their success lay in meeting expectations of these people. People of India are the constituents of democracy as well as its guardians, he added.

He lavished praise on Lokmat Group for instituting the parliamentary awards. He appealed to other media houses to follow suit and honour the outstanding members of Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas.

Editor-in-chief of Lokmat Media Group Rajendra Darda proposed a vote of thanks while Shweta Shelgaonkar conducted the proceedings.

8 outstanding MPs honoured

On the occasion, Congress president and the leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Biju Janata Dal MP Bhartruhari Mahtab were honoured with the Lifetime Achievement awards while Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien and AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi were honoured with the Best Parliamentarian awards. NCP’s Vandana Chavan and BJP’s Locket Chatterjee were conferred with Best Woman Parliamentarian awards while Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Prof Manoj Kumar Jha got Best Debutant Parliamentarian award.

Honouring Babuji’s contribution

During this ceremony, NCP chief and MP Sharad Pawar and Congress president and LoP in Rajya Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge made a glorious mention of the contributions of Jawaharlal Darda alias Babuji, the founder-editor of Lokmat Group during the freedom struggle. “Jawaharlal Ji’s work as a colleague in the Maharashtra Cabinet and as a journalist was great. He planted the sapling of Lokmat and won the trust of the people. Today that sapling has turned into a huge banyan tree,” Pawar said adding that Lokmat is carrying out various public welfare works. It is because of Darda’s vision that a big and old media organisation like Lokmat came into being, Pawar said. This is Babuji’s birth centenary year. His contribution to the freedom struggle, dedication as a minister and commitment to journalism will inspire future generations, said Kharge.

Be role models for others: Harivansh Narayan Singh

Harivansh Narayan Singh, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha, praised the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards. “This is an excellent exercise to honour the performance of parliamentarians. It encourages MPs to do even better. I am sure they will inspire others in the future and emerge as role models for others. We must start a lecture series on parliamentarians who performed excellently in the past. Madhu Limaye was one such person. Somnath Chatterjee was another,” he said.

‘Disrupting proceedings in Parlt very demoralising’

Vinai Kumar Saxena, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, said Parliament is the supreme representative of the people. Many times MPs are accused of disrupting the proceedings, which is very demoralising. Hence, Lokmat Group by recognising the outstanding parliamentarians has done a great job,” he stated.

‘Contribution of Parlt in country’s development unmatchable’

Sharad Pawar, national president of NCP, said the contribution of Parliament in the development of the country is unmatchable. Many people had served the country through Parliament. The ZPs, municipal councils and municipal corporations and Legislative Assemblies look up to the Parliament for inspiration on how to function. “There is a need to honour those who perform well in Parliament. The work of the jury is very difficult as there were several contenders for these awards,” he said.

‘Government is of the people, for the people & by the people’

Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, former Union HRD minister and former BJP president, said these awards were not related to any party but the awardees were selected on the basis of their performance in their Parliament. “We select the awardees with great care and without any bias. I hope other MPs take inspiration from these awardees. Abraham Lincoln had said “the government is of the people, for the people and by the people”. This will remain forever. Same is true for the Parliament. I would add that if the Parliament is responsible and its members are responsible, then it will continue for ever,” he said.

Dignitaries present

Union minister of state for health Dr Bharati Pawar, former Union minister Natwar Singh, former chief minister of J&K Farooq Abdullah, former Union minister Praful Patel,  Rajya Sabha MPs Jaya Bachchan, Fauzia Khan, Rajani Patil and Anil Bonde, LS MPs Imtiaz Jaleel, Arvind Sawant, Sudhakar Shringare, Krupal Tumane, Jaisiddeshwar Swami, Hemant Godse, Hemant Patil, Shrinivas Patil and Bhavana Gawali, RS MPs Kumar Ketkar, Dr. Amee Yajnik, LS MP Gopal Shetty, RS MP Syed Naseer Hussain, Telangana MPs Nama Nageshwar Rao, K Keshava Rao, J Santosh Kumar, Vaddiraju Ravichandra, Parthasaradhi Reddy, BB Patil, BJP general secretary Vinod Tawde, former minister Dr Nitin Raut, Congress’ Jitu Patwari, Acharya Lokesh Muni and former home secretary Vinod Kumar Duggal.

Ambassadors & other dignitaries who graced the function: Choe Hui Chol, Ambassador of South Korea to India, Ambassador of Ghana Ernest Nana Adjei, Ambassador of Serbia Sinisa Pavic, Deputy Ambassador of Lesotho Thabang and Ambassador of Poland Patrycja, former Ambassador of India to Switzerland Monika Mohta, senior journalists H K Dua, Prabhu Chawla, IAS officers Prajakata Verma-Lavangare, Amit Bhole, Director of Information and Public Relations B Rajamouli, Sudarshan TV’s Suresh Chavhanke, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera, Alka Lamba and publisher of Lokmat  (Delhi) and vice president of Indian Newspaper Society Rakesh Sharma.

Excellent initiative, says

Dr Bhagwat Karad

Dr Bhagwat Karad, Union Minister of State for Finance, said Parliament is a body that guides all other elected bodies. It is for the people, by the people and of the people. It is an excellent initiative to honour outstanding parliamentarians.

MPs need to be recognised for good work, says Darda

Chairman of Editorial Board of Lokmat Media and former member of Rajya Sabha Vijay Darda delivered the welcome address. He said Lokmat Parliamentary Awards were started to recognise the works of MPs who have done outstanding work in Parliament. The winners are selected by a jury consisting of individuals who have distinguished themselves in parliamentary affairs. It includes Sharad Pawar, LK Advani and has included late leaders Somnath Chatterjee and Sharad Yadav. Similarly, constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap has also been a member of this board, he added. This year is special for the Group as it is the centenary year of veteran freedom fighter and founder of Lokmat Group Jawaharlal Darda and golden jubilee year of Lokmat’s Nagpur edition. The readership of Lokmat is 2.25 crore. Apart from being the largest Marathi daily in Maharashtra, Goa and Delhi, it is also the sixth largest nationally. Eighteen editions of Lokmat are published. Apart from this, Darda said, Lokmat has also achieved success on TV, digital and social media.

Eminent members of Parliament from various political parties, senior bureaucrats and other dignitaries during the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards ceremony held at NDMC Convention Centre, Parliament Streeet, New Delhi.

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