New Delhi: What do MPs from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and Delhi share in common? Answer: They have managed not to spend even a single penny this year from their MPLADS (Member of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme) kitty.
This includes both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members.
This came to light after the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) collated data available till August.
The government had recently raised the MPLADS amount from Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore per year.
This means each Lok Sabha MP would have Rs 25 crore per term at his or her disposal.
In the case of Rajya Sabha MPs, it would be Rs 30 crore.
While none of the MPs from Kerala and Bihar spent even a single penny from their MPLADS fund, as per the ministry report, the only saving grace in Tamil Nadu’s case was Rajya Sabha MP A William Rabi Bernard.
Bernard has spent Rs 2.5 crore this year. Similarly, one MP from Karnataka — Rangaswamy Dhruvanarayana – has spent money from his MPLADS kitty.
Andhra Pradesh has five of its MPs shelling out funds.
"Excuses may be aplenty, but if these MPs had wanted, they could have spent Rs 5 crore in their constituencies," said a MoSPI Ministry official.
As per the report, out of a total of 790 MPs — in both LS and RS — only 101 MPs have spent MPLADS money in their constituencies.
The rest have not even touched the purse strings, as per the Ministry report.
Some MPs have not bothered to touch their MPLADS kitty for the past three years.
This includes RJD's Lalu Prasad Yadav, lyricist Javed Akhtar, actor Smriti Irani, Ashwani Kumar, SS Ahluwalia, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma, Ram Jethmalani, BJP’s Tarun Vijay and Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
None of the spokespersons of either the Congress or the BJP have shelled out anything this year in their constituencies.