Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray reportedly announced on Thursday, March 24, 2022 that the state government would build 300 flats permanently for rural lawmakers, belonging to all political parties, in Goregaon in the north from Mumbai. Uddhav Thackray, who has not been well for more than six months, was speaking for the first time, during the budget session of the state legislature.
There was, however, a backlash following this announcement, which forced the government to offer clarification, in which, it announced that each apartment would cost Rs.70 lakh and would not be given away for free. State Housing Minister Jitendra Avhad reportedly announced at the session that the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) was to construct this housing complex in the Mumbai suburb of Goregaon which would include High Grade Apartments Income Group (HIG). Justifying, the Housing Minister reportedly said that this is not the first time such a scheme has been implemented in the state, and that more than 1,200 plots in the city have so far been allocated to housing projects. various sections, from legislators, bureaucrats, journalists, artists to mathadi workers.
A few MPs including Praniti Shinde of Congress, Zeeshan Shaikh and Raju Patil of Maharashtra Navnirman reportedly stood down and said the money should be used for the welfare of the poor instead.
The budget session of the state legislature, concluded Friday, March 25, 2022.
Criticism of the regime
However, such largesse for lawmakers is seen as unfair by critics following rising numbers of homeless people in Mumbai and Maharashtra. Jagdeep Chhokar, a founding member of the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), reportedly said the housing scheme announced by the state for lawmakers was nothing but a blatant embezzlement of public money. Citing the ADR report, he estimates that 93% of incumbent MPs are crorepatis, and in the context of their wealth increasing many times between two elections, the backlash against the announcement is obvious.
Criticizing the government’s decision to provide houses for legislators, it was estimated that Maharashtra’s 288 MPs, 78 MLCs and more than 800 former Assembly or Council members, apart from the salary and pension they receive , the holder and the former lawmakers and their dependent family members are granted cashless Medicclaim, for which the government pays Rs. 15 crore per year as a premium. The state is said to have recently raised the car price cap for MPs from the existing rupees. 10 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh, the interest of which is paid by the government, if the vehicle is purchased on loan.
Reacting to the criticism, Sharad Pawar, NCP Supremo, refuted that the sops were announced to keep MPs united in the current political uncertainty in Maharashtra. He reportedly opposed the plan and expressed his personal opinion that the government should not build houses for lawmakers. Instead, the government can create a separate quota for legislators in MHADA-built homes, he reportedly said.
It was felt in this regard that pressure should be exerted on the government to reconsider its decision, as shown by the assets declared by lawmakers, how much richer they are and that the benefits granted to them do not may be justified given their financial situation. . He opines that this therefore reinforces the suspicion that the state government announced these measures for lawmakers to keep them together, following the political uncertainty the government is facing.
It is reported that the main opposition party in the Maharashtra Assembly, the BJP, criticized the government’s decision and believed that these houses are given to MPs as Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) fears that they will defect and join the BJP. This is a decision by MVA to keep his herd together, he says.
All things considered, the BJP, the main opposition party, is expected to take a tough, non-political stance and pressure the government to withdraw the program which is morally and ethically wrong and cannot be justified for any reason, as is amply apparent from the criticisms addressed to it. With the exception of a few who entered politics for genuine social good, most who enter today are known to have no real intention of serving society, but rather serving themselves. . It is high time for the BJP, which calls itself a different party, to seize this opportunity and lead, to cleanse the regime of this contagious disease.
The opinions expressed above are those of the author.
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