Opposition charges SP of indulging their home districts by allocating grants
The Opposition alleged that Akhiklesh Yadav was spending more on districts in which his family held seats
Virendra Nath Bhatt
The opposition parties in the UP assembly rose up in arms on Tuesday 27 November and charged chief minister Akhilesh Yadav of indulging in rampant discrimination by favouring those who are from his home seat. The opposition accused that Akhilesh Yadav was allocating a lion’s share of funds from the supplementary grants worth Rs 5,800 crore for the current fiscal 2012-13, to his home districts and the parliamentary constituencies belonging to his wife and family members. Samajwadi Party (SP) chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is MP from Manipuri, Akhilesh Yadav’s wife Dimple Yadav is MP from Kanauj and the CM’s cousin Dharmendra Yadav is MP from Badaun.
The opposition alleged that “supplementary grants have become a family affair for the Yadav clan, and there is nothing for the people of the state.” The state assembly amidst the walkout staged by the main opposition Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) passed the first supplementary for the current fiscal.
Akhilesh Yadav, who also holds the finance portfolio, was not present in the house on Tuesday. Parliamentary affairs minister Azam Khan defended the allocations made for the home district of the CM and political constituencies of his family members. “It’s the privilege of the CM and he is well within his rights to make financial allocations for development projects across the state,” said Khan adding, “Not a single penny was spent on those districts during the previous BSP rule.”
The opposition charged the SP government of being myopic, which can see the interest of only few districts — Etawah, the native district of the CM and Kannauj and Mainpuri.
Initiating the debate on the supplementary grants, the BJP legislature party leader Hukum Singh alleged that “the supplementary budget is just meant for the development of Saifai, Mainpuri, Etawah and Kannauj, while the other parts of the state are left out”. The supplementary budget proposed for a population of 50 million people of 16 districts of western UP is just Rs 2 crore,” he said while adding that “Rs 25 crore has been given to Saifai just for sports promotion.
Emphasising the need for equitable distribution of resources for development Singh said, “The CM cannot see beyond two-three districts, which are the constituencies of his family members, after all UP has 75 districts and people everywhere need modern health, education facilities and good infrastructure, so why have allocations been made only for few VIP districts?”
The BJP leader charged that “the SP government freely indulged in extragavaganza by making allocations for the Sefai festival in Etawah where artists from Mumbai would sing and dance, while allocation of Rs 50 lakh has also been made for similar cultural show in Etawah town.”
An allocation of Rs 1 crore has been made for a new medical college that would be set up in Badaun, the parliamentary constituency of Dharmendra Yadav, nephew of Mulayam Singh Yadav. The government has also decided to set up modern treatment facilities for the cardiac disease and cancer hospital at Kannauj Medical College. In the supplementary, a provision of Rs 1.50 crore has also been made for the Para-Medical Institute at Rural Institute of Medical Sciences and Research at Saifai. This institute was set up in Saifai, during the previous SP regime in 2004 at a cost of Rs 400 crore.
In Saifai, the state government has sanctioned Rs 25 crore for uplift of sports facilities. The government has also earmarked Rs 2 crore for promotion of wrestling, weightlifting halls, kabbadi, volleyball, basketball and boxing in western UP.
Singh and leader of opposition Swami Prasad Maurya said that there was no need for the supplementary budget, as the state government has so far not been able to utilise the funds sanctioned in the regular budget passed in June early this year.
Khan replying to the debate said the funds allocated by the supplementary budget would not be spent for the construction of statues, parks and memorials of political leaders. “It’s public money and it will be utilised for public purposes only,” the parliamentary affairs minister said.
Virendra Nath Bhatt is a Special Correspondent with Tehelka.