Analysis

Rs 300 Cr of MP fund lying unspent in Muslim-dominated constituencies

By Mumtaz Alam

New Delhi: By 13 February 2014, Rs 292.97 crores of the Members of Parliament Fund were lying unspent in 70 Lok Sabha constituencies with significant Muslim population across the country. While Congress MPs of these constituencies still have over Rs 92 crores unspent, the BJP MPs come at no. 2 with  Rs 79 crores unspent.

Nishakant Dubey (Godda, Jharkhand) and Shafeequr Rahman Barq (Sambhal, Uttar Pradesh) top the list of best performers by spending almost all the funds available to them.

 Kirti Azad (Darbhanga, Bihar) is the worst performer as he still has Rs 7.43 crores unspent amount, which is less than 40% of the funds available to him. Devidhan Besra (Rajmahal, Jharkhand) and Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri, Assam) have left more than 50% of the available funds unused. While Besra has Rs 6.74 crores unspent amount, Ajmal has Rs 6.65 crores, reveals a report prepared by twocircles.net.

According to the report, which is based on data available on government websites, Muslim MPs in the Lok Sabha have not fully utilised the MPLAD funds.

Shafeequr Rahman Barq (Sambhal, UP) tops the list of Muslim MPs by spending almost all of 12 crore at his disposal. There are 16 Muslim MPs who have unspent amounts between 4 and 7 crores. Badruddin Ajmal (Dhubri, AS) tops the list with 6.65 crores unspent.

The Muslim population ranges from 20 to 95 per cent in the 70 Lok Sabha constituencies covered in this report.

Also noticeable is the fact that MPs of backward regions are also the worst offenders in leaving large amounts unspent. Bihar and Assam MPs have left behind almost 30% of their funds unutilised. While West Bengal MPs have Rs 68.63 crores unspent, Uttar Pradesh MPs have Rs 68.16 crores and Bihar comes at No. 3 with Rs 47.08 crores unspent.

If we look at the numbers by political parties then we find that 40 out of these 70 constituencies are represented by either Congress or BJP MPs. Congress MPs have slightly better utilisation of funds (24.8% unspent than BJP MPs who have 28.5% unspent.

 AIUDF has left behind 56.8% of their funds unspent. Even the two Independent MPs [Tarun Mandal - Joynagar (WB)] and [Hassan Khan - Ladakh (JK)] have not impressed their constituencies as they have utilised MPLAD funds at less than 60 % and 70 % respectively.

 The following MPs have utilised more than 90% of MPLAD funds in their constituencies:
1. Nishikant Dubey (BJP)- Godda (JH)
2. Shafiqur Raheman Barq (BSP) - Sambhal (UP)
3. Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) - Hyderabad (AP)
4. Jay Prakash Agarwal (INC) - Delhi NE
5. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh (SP) - Kaiserganj (UP)

 
The MPLAD funds are meant for the MPs to undertake several development projects which will lapse with the 15th term of Lok Sabha concluding in May 2014.

“Merely having Muslim figureheads in elected offices is not a solution to the wide range of problems the community is facing. The current Uttar Pradesh assembly has the highest Muslim representation ever but the state has witnessed the highest number of communal riots and illegal detentions,” says Kashif-ul-Huda, editor of twocircles.net.

 “The responsibility of the voter does not end at the ballot box. Each of us needs to hold our elected representative and the party leadership accountable for the promises made before the elections, and for their contribution to justice, security, development and effective governance that is expected of every elected official,” says Kashif.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 March 2014 on page no. 11

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