And More Sops for Legislators

Yes, but do their hearts —  if any — beat for the poor?

THE POST URGING PRIME Minister Narendra Modi to abolish lifetime pension to politicians keeps doing the rounds on WhatsApp and other media,  coming again and again.


It  had prompted my posts supporting the appeal.  The second was when Telangana  government  of decided to build big bungalows for MLAs, mostly big landlords, in their constituencies. Another post that went viral promised to forego LPG subsidy — if the MLAs and MPs did.They didn’t.

Now comes the news that the Maharashtra Government will provide  free insurance for all its 335 sitting legislators and 837 former legislators and their families at a cost of Rs.10 crores a year. The move, the report says, was meant to curb the use of fake bills by the legislators now entitled to claim medical reimbursement.

That the country has some legislators and parliamentarians who submit fake travel and medical bills, sublet their rent-free homes, make money through recommendations to minsters and  misuse the local area development (LAD) funds allotted to them, does not come as a shock, or even a surprise, to the people, who vote for them due mostly  to the three Cs that plague the Indian electoral system  –  Caste, Cash and Coercion.

Paucity of funds is given as the reason for failure  to rehabilitate those displaced by development projects, build houses for slum dwellers,  provide minimum facilities and buildings for government schools and a host of other things expected of governments.

No one wants those running the country  to live in penury or be tempted to lobby for vested interests or be corrupt. They can give themselves all the sops they can think of – but first set right a situation in which film actors, jewelers and lawyers become millionaires and producing food essential for life are driven into debt and to suicides.

Otherwise, people may bring about the change through violent means.

It may be too late for action then.


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