UP Cong leader gives bulk of development fund to his family’s school,collegehttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/lucknow/up-cong-leader-gives-bulk-of-development-fund-to-his-familys-school-college-2/

UP Cong leader gives bulk of development fund to his family’s school,college

Last month,when the state government barred legislators from disbursing funds from the Vidhayak Nidhi — the MLAs’ local area development fund — to institutions run by them or their family members,Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was most critical of the decision,terming it as “against the rights of MLAs”.

Last month,when the state government barred legislators from disbursing funds from the Vidhayak Nidhi — the MLAs’ local area development fund — to institutions run by them or their family members,Congress leader Pramod Tiwari was most critical of the decision,terming it as “against the rights of MLAs”.

Now,an RTI filed by The Indian Express has revealed that Tiwari sanctioned over Rs 1.40 crore from his Vidhayak Nidhi to a school run by him — Intermediate College,Sangramgarh — and a college run by his daughter — Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya,Sangramgarh — in the last five years.

While Tiwari,the Congress MLA from Rampur,is the manager of Intermediate College,Sangramgarh,his daughter,Aradhana Mishra,is the manager of Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya,Sangramgarh.

n In 2007-08,Tiwari sanctioned a total of Rs 1.23 crore from his Vidhayak Nidhi,of which Rs 25 lakh was given to Intermediate College,Sangramgarh,for “construction of rooms”.

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n In 2008-09,he sanctioned a total of Rs 1.19 crore from his Vidhayak Nidhi. Of this,Rs 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya,Sangramgarh,and Rs 2.5 lakh to Intermediate College,Sangramgarh.

n In 2009-10,a total of Rs 1.21 crore was released from Tiwari’s Vidhayak Nidhi,of which Rs 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya and Rs 5 lakh to Intermediate College,Sangramgarh.

In 2010-11,a total of Rs 1.13 crore was released from Tiwari’s Vidhayak Nidhi,of which Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya received Rs 25 lakh and Intermediate College,Sangramgarh,got Rs 5 lakh.

n In 2011-12,Tiwari sanctioned a total of Rs 48.54 lakh from his Vidhayak Nidhi,of which Rs 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya and Rs 3.30 lakh to Intermediate College,Sangramgarh.

While MLAs were earlier allotted a total of Rs 1.25 crore per year as their Vidhayak Nidhi,the amount was increased to Rs 1.50 crore per year in 2012.

Although several other schools were also sanctioned funds from Tiwari’s Vidhayak Nidhi,the largest amounts were given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya (Rs 1 crore) and Intermediate College,Sangramgarh (Rs 40.8 lakh) in the last five years.

When contacted,Tiwari,a nine-time MLA,said: “There is nothing wrong in legislators giving their local area development funds to the institutions run by them. I think that education should be given priority. I give 90 per cent of my funds to schools and colleges. I have always said that MLAs should be allowed to give funds to their own schools. I have supported this in the past,and will also do so in the future.”

However,he claimed that the amount sanctioned to his institutions was less than the figure obtained under RTI from the district rural development agency of Pratapgarh.

During the recent budget session,Tiwari had said that the move to bar MLAs from sanctioning funds for institutions run by them or their relatives should be withdrawn “immediately”.

As per the rural development department’s new guidelines,a legislator cannot recommend allotment of funds to an institution where either the legislator or his family member hold a post. Moreover,MLAs cannot grant more than Rs 25 lakh per institution.

In 2011,when Lokayukta N K Mehrotra had found then BSP minister Anees Ahmed guilty of giving over Rs 25 lakh to an institute run by his family members and wanted to recommend an amendment in the guidelines for sanctioning funds from the Vidhayak Nidhi to avoid “misappropriation” of public money,Tiwari had moved a resolution in the Assembly to restrain the Lokayukta from making any such recommendation. Tiwari was then leader of the Congress Legislature Party in the Assembly.

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The guidelines for the Centre’s MPLAD fund also state that “funding is not permissible to a society/ trust,if the recommending MP or any of his family member is the president/ chairman of the society in question.”