Sangma Vs Sangma
The recently reported diatribe before the national media in New Delhi and later on in Shillong by the Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma against the Presidential contestant bearing the same surname as his, to say the least, shows him in bad light. He certainly has his party obligations to support the UPA sponsored candidate, but does that mean he should publicly try to belittle the other candidate in the fray? Through his impolite utterances he also seemed to have questioned the political wisdoms of two of his fellow Chief Ministers, those of Odisha and Tamil Nadu who have supported the elder Sangma in the contest .Not withstanding the result of the election, one wonders, in the days to come, during the States Chief Ministers’ conferences which are held from time to time in the national capital, when he meets these two Chief Ministers, although they would be exchanging the customary pleasantries, how they would feel inside about him.
H K Borah, Dispur, Guwahati.
Blunt misuse of MLALADS in UP
No more blunt example of misuse of MLALADS can be there as was done by UP Chief Minister when he enhanced annual fund of UP MLAs by Rs 25 lakh per annum to provide a car of Rs 20 lakh from the fund to each MLA in an era when only rich can practically contest elections and most of the MLAs themselves own a fleet of cars. Earlier Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) found flaws in MP Local Area Development (MPLAD) Scheme, finding that just 45 per cent funds were utilized, after Planning Commission also advised against the scheme. Even a Parliamentary panel constituted on a TV sting catching Parliamentarians taking bribe to approve schemes to be funded through their MPLADS funds, endorsed views of the Planning Commission that the scheme is a fount of corruption. The then Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chaterjee had echoed likewise to scrap the scheme. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has taken a lead in abolishing such a scheme in the State.
Many MPs and MLAs are over generous to fund their favourite organizations for their projects from this scheme even though such funding may have nothing to do with public welfare. It may be recalled that trusts floated by the then Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla were found to be generously funded by MPLAD allocation of Parliamentarians from the ruling party. Our Parliamentarians and MLAs must have the capability to get work done for public-welfare from existing administrative machinery, including wisely using RTI Act, rather than needing any short-cut by way of corruption-generating scheme!
Madhu Agrawal, Dariba, Delhi