From Tihar to Bihar - MP Pappu Yadav gives Rs.4 crores for floods

November 20th, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 20 (IANS) Guess which MP delved deepest into his pockets to help Bihar recover from the devastating floods? The unlikely answer is the jailed Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Pappu Yadav who shelled out Rs.40 million (Rs.4 crores) from his parliamentarian fund when others like BJP’s L.K. Advani and Congress’ Rahul Gandhi gave nothing.The notorious Pappu Yadav, who is in Tihar Jail for murder, was responding to an appeal by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari on Sep 3 asking MPs to contribute Rs.1 million each from the MP Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) towards relief and rehabilitation in flood-hit Bihar.

Under the scheme, each MP has Rs.20 million (Rs.2 crore) to spend on developments works in the constituency every year.

Chatterjee and Ansari also appealed to MPs to donate one month’s salary for the cause.

Pappu Yadav represents Bihar’s Madhepura constituency, which was severely hit by the floods after the Kosi river changed course leading to the worst floods in living memory.

The Janata Dal-United’s (JD-U) Rajya Sabha MP from Bihar Mahendra Prasad is the second highest contributor with Rs.20 million.

According to the list published on the parliament website, 153 of the 543 members of the Lok Sabha responded positively to the call for help — less than one-third of the total strength of the house. The Rajya Sabha fared better with more than half the members — 147 of 250 — contributing money from their funds.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who declared the Bihar floods a national calamity, contributed Rs.1 million as did Congress president Sonia Gandhi. Maharashtra strongman and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar contributed Rs.5 million and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Rs.2.5 million.

MPs of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) in both houses of parliament gave Rs.1 million each.

Of the 40 Lok Sabha MPs from Bihar, only 22 members have given money. Of them, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad put in Rs.5 million, Steel Minister Ramvilas Paswan Rs.1 million, Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Singh Rs.1 million, former defence minister George Fernandes Rs.2 million and Jai Prakash Narayan Yadav Rs.2.5 million.

The list of those who contributed nothing is interesting too. Besides Advani and Rahul Gandhi, in the list are Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss and Shipping Minister T.R. Balu. BJP leader Jaswant Singh, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, is included as well.

The list of the MPs who donated their salary was not available on the website.

Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation G.K. Vasan had requested the members to contribute for rehabilitation works “as permissible under the MPLADS guidelines latest by Sep 30″.

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