Differences emerge in Congress over MPLAD funds cut

New April 6 (IANS) Differences have emerged within the Congress over the suspension of MPLAD funds for two years to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, though party leader Jairam Ramesh has supported the governments move.

However, Karti Chidambaram has opposed the move so as party chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, who said it’s “disservice to the constituent.”
Jairam Ramesh tweeted, “I welcome the decision on MPLADS. I have been arguing for long that the approximately Rs 7,000 crore given to MPs & MLAs annually for development works should be used as a corpus for state funding of elections.”
Karti Chidambaram tweeted, “If the government wants to garner funds, there are many ways, but to do away with MPLAD is absolutely unacceptable. It’s a sinister move to make constituency MPs redundant and enforce a Presidential form of government by stealth.”
“All those who welcome the MPLAD fund suspension and who tweet against my opposition to this, get off your snobbish urban perches, visit Sivaganga and see how useful the funds are to local communities and see the demand for such projects f.rom the constituents,” he added
Randeep Surjewala also criticised the suspension of the local area development funds, saying: “Please note that MPLAD is meant to execute developmental works in the constituency. Suspending it is a huge disservice to the constituents and will undermine the role & functions of an MP.”
The Union cabinet has approved temporary suspension of MPLAD funds during 2020-21 and 2021-22 for managing the adverse impact of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar said the Cabinet has approved a move to suspend the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22). The amount will go to the Consolidated Fund of India.