Former Member of Parliament of Vadodara Lok Sabha constituency, Balkrishna Shukla, donated Rs 10 lakh to construct a kilometre-long road in a village in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, which has come as a surprise to many. However, the Collector on Saturday issued a clarification that an MP can spend the fund from his local area development (MPLAD) grant to a place outside his constituency once in a year.
The matter that Shukla donated the money from his grant to develop road in Deud village in Ratnagiri during the financial year 2013-14 was brought to light by a reply, furnished by the district development officer, to an RTI query filed by one Ambalal Parmar. According to the reply on the breakup of fund spent by the then MP Shukla, the DDO said he spent Rs 9,89,200 on constructing the road in the village.
Collector Vinod Rao on Saturday issued clarification, stating that no rule was flouted in the matter as an MP has been given the power to spend an amount under Rs 10 lakh to a constituency that does not belong to his, which may even be a place outside the state of his constituency.
“As per the guidelines on expenditure of money from MPLAD fund, it is clear that an MP can spend an amount not exceeding Rs 10 lakh once in a year outside the limit of his constituency, which may be even outside the state where his constituency exists. This is allowed to encourage national unity and brotherhood and is totally legal,” Rao said.
Shukla maintained that the decision was taken after consulting the Collector. He said he decided to donate the money to the village road construction after a former BJP corporator approached him.
“It was within the guidelines on how to spend MPLAD fund and no rules have been flouted,” he said.