|Abhishek Singh has been preparing a private member bill to promote Asia's oldest performing art and music university housed in his constituency, Rajnandgaon in Chhattisgarh. Set up way back in 1956, Indira Kala Sangit Vishwavidyalay needs national attention, Singh feels.
He has written letters to the government of Chhattisgarh, the state where his father Raman Singh is chief minister, and also made representations to the union HRD ministry, trying to convince the brass.
"In the last few months, I have succeeded in pushing for a new sugar factory in my constituency and bringing in Panchayat members of our locality into the larger decision-making process," Singh says. He has asked the district collectors of two Chhattisgarh districts, Rajnandgaon and Kabirdham, which fall into his constituency, to prepare yearly reports from the ground-up, after consulting the local populace. On the basis of those ground reports, Singh is planning to seek budgetary support for his pet projects.
"The officers tend to casually calculate how much more funds are needed in a locality and merely tweak the earlier proposal. I have said 'no' to that culture. Our proposals have to be backed by facts and figures, and those must be need-based," he adds.
Is Singh active in Parliament? According to data compiled by independent think-tank PRS Legislative Research, Singh's attendance in Lok Sabha till August is 78%, a tad below expectations. But his maiden speech in Parliament became a talking point back home. "Can you believe Chhattisgarh has added just 19 km of railway line since 1947," he had thundered. "In a rail budget discussion I reminded everyone that there has been a neglect of this Naxal-affected state. Every district headquarter of the state must be immediately connected by the railways," he tells this writer.
Has he taken any of Raman Singh's tips in the last 200 days? "My father's advice is more of a note of caution: If you do the right things for the people, you rise. Do wrong things and no one can save you."