Lucknow: Lawmakers in India’s most populous state of Uttar Pradesh are asking the government to return their money donated to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent case, BJP MLA Shyam Prakash from Hardoi legislative assembly, asked the government to return his Rs 25 lakh MLALAD [Local Area Development] fund given for ventilators and PPE.
“I sought details of [its] utilisation, but no answer. Then I learnt about corruption in purchases. Now, I wish to use it elsewhere,” the BJP MLA told NewsClick over phone, adding, “I will be speaking to the chief minister about the alleged corruption at local level and I do not want my money to go to waste because this money is meant for the development.”
When asked more about the allegations of corruption levelled by him, the MLA said, “I came to know about the corruption at the local level through the people in the media and I have sought details on how the money donated by me has been spent. I have even written a letter to the chief development officer of the district, but I am yet to get any reply from them. I will be writing a letter to even Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to probe the matter because I know he will not tolerate any sort of corruption,” he said.
Prakash was served a show cause notice on April 28 by the party president for writing the letter.
On being approached again after the notice was served to him, Prakash said, “I did not write anything wrong and I will give an answer to the party. I am not against the party, but against the people who are indulging in corruption and are trying to defame the party.”
He further said, “Ek to vidhayak nidhi ek saal ke liye waise bhi band kar di gayi hai to uchit yahi hoga to ye janata ka paisa hai theek jagah istemaal ho jaha jyada jarurat ho. [We won’t be getting the MLA fund for a year now. It’s appropriate that then, this money, which belongs to the people, is sent where it’s required the most.]”
It may be mentioned that the government of Uttar Pradesh has decided to freeze the local area development fund given to the MLAs for a year. The other two MLAs who have received show cause notices from the party are Rakesh Rathore and Suresh Tiwari.
Suresh Tiwari, the MLA from Deoria constituency was caught on camera warning people against buying vegetables from Muslims while Rakesh Rathore allegedly criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi by dismissing his taali-thali beating event as beating a world record in foolishness. Both the MLAs did not respond to the queries raised to them.
Earlier, BJP MLA from Badlapur, Ramesh Chandra Mishra, who donated Rs 23 lakh, had asked the CDO to not spend the money and return it. Following this, Kerakat MLA, Mungrabad Shahpur MLA and Jafrabad MLA also asked for the return.
Also watch: Politics of Hate: BJP’s Anger Just a Facade?