SP MLA: Fund for public, not car

Samajwadi Party MLA Ravidas Mehrotra has disapproved of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav's idea to allow MLAs and MLCs use their local area development fund for buying a vehicle costing up to Rs 20 lakh.

"I cannot purchase a car for me from MLA fund. It is public money and I will not utilise it on getting a car for myself however important it is for me," said Mehrotra, party MLA from Lucknow Central.

Mehrotra said the MLA fund is for the development in his area and "I will spend it there, there is no logic in getting a car for myself with it".

The MLA said he called the Chief Minister's residence to convey his views. "I did not get a chance to talk to the CM, but I informed the officials there about my decision of not purchasing a car from the MLA fund. They said it is voluntary and not binding'', said Mehrotra.

However, the MLA did not treat his decision as anti-government. "When it is not binding and not compulsory, then it cannot be said I am opposing the government's decision. I have more important work to do and a car can wait," said Mehrotra.

"Children are swept away in the rainy season when the drains in my constituency overflow. I want to have them covered to save the children," he explained.

The MLA refused to comment on the logic of the government decision. "It is the government's decision and I am part of the government. Circumstances of MLAs may differ. I am in a big city and as such moving around is not a big problem," he said.

Over the growing tendency of corruption and commissions involved in the use of MLAs fund, Mehrotra says he can only say that he would not allow a single penny of his MLA fund to be siphoned away in any commission.

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