Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has done a complete U-turn on his decision to allow MLAs to buy expensive cars with their area development fund.
Just a day ago,UP MLAs and MLCs were allowed to spend up to Rs 20 lakh from their local area development fund to buy a vehicle for personal use. Akhilesh Yadav cleared this on the last day of the budget session yesterday,drawing criticism from the Opposition,including the BJP,BSP,Congress and RLD.
This would help legislators travel and stay connected with people,Yadav said. While the vehicles would initially be government property,the legislators could buy these after five years by paying the depreciated value.
The Opposition said using development funds for legislators personal comfort would send the wrong message. The BJP,BSP and RLD declared that their MLAs would not use the funds to buy vehicles.
However,the CM brushed aside objections,calling the scheme optional. It is not a compulsion on anyone. Those who need it can buy,others can use the fund for development. The idea is to provide mobility to MLAs. There are many among them who cant buy a vehicle, he argued,while speaking on the Finance Bill.
The CM also accepted a suggestion from Pramod Tiwari of the Congress to raise the the MLA fund by Rs 25 lakh to Rs 1.5 crore every year. The same had been promised by Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav as chief minister in 2007.