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The Indian Parliamentary Group (IPG) on Monday announced that BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahatab will be conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2017. TMC's Lok Sabha MP Dinesh Trivedi would get the award for 2016 and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad would get it for 2015, the Lok Sabha secretariat said in a statement. Announcing the awards for the last five years, IPG said former Rajya Sabha member Najma Heptulla gets the award for 2013 and Lok Sabha member Hukumdev Narayan Yadav for 2014.
Both are members of the BJP. The names were shortlisted by an award committee headed by Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and including Home Minister Rajnath Singh, BJP veteran L K Advani, Deputy Chairman of the Upper House P J Kurien, Congress leader Karan Singh and Ram Bhadur Rai, head of the Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar was a special invite to the committee. The awardees were selected on the basis of their experience, debating skills, awareness of issues and the depth with which issues were raised, an official said. The committee also considered the member's observance of the rules of procedure, maintenance of dignity and contribution in parliamentary committees among others. The committee recommended these names to the IPG, a 24-member autonomous body of the current and former MPs of both houses which are also headed by the Speaker.