In 1988, a six-year-old girl sat in the visitor's gallery of Rajya Sabha and watched in awe as her father asked questions to the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.
That girl, Poonam Mahajan, made several more trips to parliament, but never did she think that she would be a parliamentarian some day. "The first day I entered Parliament I was quite scared. I didn't know my way. Earlier, I used to follow my father like a little lamb," says the BJP MP.
One of the five first time Lok Sabha MPs from Mumbai, like the others she has her eyes set on the city's development, which included setting up a tourist hub along Mithi river and addressing the problem of 12,000 people living on defence land in Bandra.
Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant, another first time MP, says the Mumbai parliamentarians have identified four major issues to be addressed by the centre for the city's development-- cluster development enactment to deal with the people living in hits and old buildings, coastal road from Versova to Nariman Point to tackle traffic problem, metro rail and revival of ports.
Four of the six Mumbai MPs have recorded 100 per cent attendance in Lok Sabha, as against the national average of 88 per cent, as per PRS legislative research data available till August 6.
All three BJP MPs-- Poonam Mahajan, Kirit Somaiya and Gopal Chinayya Shetty-- and Shiv Sena's Arvind Sawant have full attendance in the first two sessions of the 16th Lok Sabha. Shiv Sena's Rahul Ramesh Shewale has an attendance of 97 per cent (100 per cent in first session and 95 per cent in the ongoing one) and Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar 64 per cent (100 per cent in first session and 58 per cent in the budget session).
Asked about the long absence of Sachin Tendulkar and Rekha, both of whom are voters from her constituency, Mahajan says "when someone is given responsibility they should be doing the best. Mr Tendulkar can give us so many ideas on sports and Rekha on culture and tourism. I hope after all this they will take it seriously."
Put together, the Mumbai MPs have asked over 80 questions in Lok Sabha, according to PRS data. The questions ranged from Iraq turmoil, extradition of Kim Davey to MNREGA funds in Andhra Pradesh and Hydro Power Plant in North East while around a dozen of them involved Mumbai.
Senior party leader Kirit Somaiya, a second-time MP who had asked 832 questions in the previous NDA regime, has participated in 13 debates, even as he juggles between Lok Sabha and his scrupulous task as head of the House Committee.
Incidentally, Hansraj Ahir, who has asked the maximum number of questions--96--is also from Maharashtra.
Poonam Mahajan (Mumbai North-Central)
Profession: business person
Kirit Somaiya (Mumbai North East)
Profession: chartered accountant
Rahul Ramesh Shewale (Mumbai South Central)
Gopal Chinayya Shetty (Mumbai North)
Profession: business person
Arvind Sawant (Mumbai South)
Profession: social worker
Gajanan Chandrakant Kirtikar
Profession: political and social worker