Lucknow: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has taken a seemingly bizarre and retrograde step. In an order, he has allowed MLAs to use Constituency Development Funds to buy personal vehicles.
The state is the second lowest in the national per capita income and as much as 40 per cent of its population is below poverty line. Yet the Chief Minister wants to dole out expensive cars from tax payers money.
Akhilesh Yadav's predecessor Mayawati was criticised for spending Rs 4000 crore for construction of monuments. Throughout his election campaign, Akhilesh Yadav was a vocal opponent of wasteful government expenditure. But now, he seems to be a different man.
Akhilesh has passed the order allowing MLAs of Uttar Pradesh to buy a personal car worth up to Rs 20 lakh from the constituency development fund.
To facilitate this, he has even increased the fund from Rs 1 crore per annum to Rs 1.5 crore. It means a total of Rs 80 crore will be spent from taxpayers money simply on buying cars for the politicians.
However, the opposition parties have said they will not use the fund for the purpose.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Laxmi Narayan said, "We are not going to use these cars."
The Samajwadi Party justified the move saying it was meant to benefit the MLAs.
Cabinet Minister Azam Khan said, "The decision was taken to benefit those MLAs who cannot afford cars."
From a leader who was talking about doling out free laptops during the election campaign, to giving out luxury cars, the wheel seems to be turning backwards for the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.