India

Shut BJP's "Vanity Projects": Karti Chidambaram After MP Fund Scrapped

Shut BJP's

Karti Chidambaram said to do away with MPLAD is absolutely unacceptable (File)

New Delhi:

Congress MP Karti Chidambaram has slammed the centre for its decision to suspend for two years the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Fund (MP-LAD) because of the coronavirus pandemic. He called the decision a "sinister move" to enforce a Presidential form of government. He also said the "vanity projects of the BJP" must be scrapped.

The MP-LAD fund is a fixed sum of Rs 5 crore allotted to MPs every year for the development of their respective constituencies. Several ministers and MPs have donated substantial amounts from their annual fund to the centre to fight the virus, which has killed over 100 people in the country.

"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," he tweeted.

Mr Chidambaram, the MP from Tamil Nadu's Sivaganga constituency, also took a sharp jibe at party colleague Jairam Ramesh, who supported the government's move.

"This can only be stated by someone who has never faced a direct election and has no constituents to answer to," he tweeted.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said suspending funds meant for constituencies will undermine the roles of the Members of Parliament.

"Dear PM, INC supports the salary cut for MP's! Please note that MPLAD is meant to execute developmental works in the constituency. Suspending it is a huge disservice to the constituents & will undermine the role and functions of MP," he tweeted.

The salaries of central ministers and Members of parliament - starting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi -- will be slashed by 30 per cent for the coming year in view of the coronavirus outbreak and the expected downturn in economy, the Union cabinet decided today.

Making the announcement this evening, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and all state Governors have voluntarily decided to take a 30 per cent salary cut.