The RTI has revealed information about air travels of MPs in FY 2016-17. The total cost to public exchequer due to these travels was a whopping 131 crores during the year with most MPs preferring to fly business or first class. What’s even more surprising is that Left parties cost the public most even though their ideology and numbers in both the houses are fast dwindling. How is this justified in any way?
RTI reveals that the total expenditure of Travel Allowance (TA) and Dearness Allowance (DA) of all Lok Sabha members in FY 2016-17 is Rs 95,70,01,830 (95.7 crore), while the total expenditure of all Rajya Sabha members is Rs 35,89,31,862 (35.89 crore). These massive costs are a result of members travelling first or business class. The members are also entitled to claim one fourth of the airfare as DA.
Most of Rajya Sabha members have claimed about Rs 10 lakhs in the form of TA/DA during the year. The top spender was CPI(M) MP from West Bengal Ritabrata Banerjee who claimed a stunning Rs 69,24,335 which is almost Rs 6 lakhs a month! The most amazing aspect is that this MP is under suspension from the party for his lavish lifestyle. Isn’t it an absolute disgrace than that we’re paying out of our pockets for an MP who’s not even a part of his party?
Another communist leader, D Raja, is at the second spot. He claimed just over Rs 65 lakh during the year for ‘official’ purposes. Again, it is a shame on our democracy that the public has to bear the brunt for the lavish travel of a leader whose ideology backs an aggressor like China in an event of a military conflict!
Third spot is bagged by Mamata’s MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy who claimed Rs 61,72,271. The list of top spenders includes veteran Congress leader Oscar Fernandes, TiruchiSiwa of the DMK, CP Narayanan, CPI(M) MP from Kerala, and P Bhattacharya of the Congress.
Not only are leaders of anti-establishment and anti-Hindu ideologies having a gala time, but even corrupt leaders are travelling lavish on the taxes of people who sweat to maintain a standard of living. JD(U) MP Anil Kumar Sahaniis an accused in the LTC scam and stands at number 10 on the list of top Rajya Sabha spenders.
There should be stricter norms with relation to these travel allowances. At the very least, suspended MPs, corrupt MPs and those who have a history of speaking against the country shouldn’t be allowed these allowances. Is the hard-earned money of taxpayers meant for funding such an unnecessary lifestyle?