Akhilesh’s slap in the face of hard-working, tax paying Indians
From UP MLAs can spend Rs. 20 lakh from welfare fund on cars (emphasis added):
Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday opened a goody bag for MLAs, entitling them to purchase four-wheelers worth up to Rs. 20 lakh from their local area development fund. If all 402 MLAs take up on the offer of the youngest CM of India’s most populous and politically crucial state, the largesse will potentially cost the exchequer R80 crore.
Announcing the entitlement(sic)..Yadav, 38, said, “This will help MLAs who do not have money buy vehicles.”
So, is Akhikesh Yadav saying if I have worked hard all my life and tried to save whatever I can, I should now fund the comfort and convenience of those who are supposed to represent me? A couple questions come to mind:
- Why should an MLA who does not have money to buy “vehicle” not use a bus, a cycle-rickshaw? - the default mode of transport of the vast majority he/she claims to represent*?
- Why should such an MLA not get out of politics? and work in the real world for a change, so that they can save enough to buy a “vehicle”? so that they understand how hard working at a job is, and the sweat and tears that go behind every single Rs/ that is saved?
Akhilesh’s move is a slap in the face of all hard-working, tax-paying citizens who save so that their children can study in a good school, so that they can pay for their own medical expenses (since the government cannot be relied upon to provide even the most basic healthcare), so that they can live a life of some dignity in their retirement. It is akin to spitting in the face of each one of us who has worked hard (and/or is working hard) to save for a “vehicle” that they can use to provide some comfort to themselves and their families.
I knew our MLAs (and MPs) are “special”. But I was not aware that I am supposed to pay for all their comforts and convenience too. What next? Free bungalows for MLA who do have money to buy a house? And to think that this guy was heralded as a “Youth Icon”, as a breath of fresh air etc. What a disgrace.
Special Request: Someone please help me find data on the finances of the UP government and the perks that MLA in Uttar Pradesh already enjoy. Thanks
P.S. Pl read these excerpts from TJS George at his scathing best (also has another reference to the “honourable” members of the UP Assembly), “Respect must be earned, not forced“
In something of a national scandal, Air India recently worked out a “high quality handling protocol” for MPs.
It stipulated procedures no one would have believed possible: Air India should depute staff to facilitate an MP’s check-in, an attendant should take his hand/carry-bag into the aircraft, cabin crew should constantly inquire about his comforts, the captain himself should come and greet him, and, at the arrival airport, the duty manager should receive the MP.
Adding insult to injury, the protocol was moved when Air India was sick and haemorrhaging, pilots were on strike, losses were running into several crores a day. But MPs, guardians of the country and its assets, could only think of how to secure more privileges for themselves, free of cost. The don’t-care attitude was voiced by the don’t-care Aviation Minister himself. Ajit Singh justified the protocol by declaring: “We are just saying give them due respect.”
To MPs of this kind, what respect is due? To MPs who use diplomatic passports to smuggle Indians to Canada, those who take bribes to raise questions in Parliament, those who get elected while they are lodged in jail, what is the respect due? Let’s not hear insipid arguments of the type that all MPs are not bad. Of course they are not. But all MPs are responsible when Parliament is stalled for every day of an entire session, and when instrumentalities like House Committees are used to unilaterally secure privileges at citizens’ cost.
A Lok Sabha House Committee has now asked for a protocol of privileges in Delhi Metro: special ticket counters, staff to guide MPs to their seats, etc. MPs have also demanded higher positions in the Warrant of Procedure at public functions, lifting from 21st to 17th position in the gradation of VIPs and of course lal batti on top of their cars. Mercifully, they have not asked for all traffic to halt when they are on the road. Well, not yet…
The final straw comes from UP Assembly. The MLAs there have moved for special privileges for those members who are in jail: A-Class status, phones inside the cells, office facilities, incarceration in their home constituencies. Their excuse is a variation on Ajit Singh’s theme: Respect due to public servants. No country is governed by a more shameless class.”
* Reminds me of how Lal Bahadur Shastri stood waiting for a bus after resigning from his post as Railway Minister back in the 60s. I wish this is made “compulsory reading” for all MLAs – not just in UP but everywhere – and MPs too. (Image courtesy: Zee)