New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and contesting the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls on development plank, but its MPs from the country’s highest populated state failed to spend a whopping Rs 333.6 crores of MPLAD funds meant for development of their constituencies.
UP alone gave the party 71 out of the total 80 seats in Lok Sabha seats in 2014 trusting the promises of ‘vikas‘ (development) and ‘achche din‘ (good days).
Notably, Rs 135 crores of these funds not spent in 33 Lok Sabha constituencies where either Dalits or Muslims are in sizeable number, reveals a study conducted by a US-based advocacy group.
Every year, an MP is given Rs 5 crore for development works under the Members of Parliament Local Area Development Scheme (MPLADS) in his constituency.
While Rs 71 crore remained unspent in 17 Dalit-dominated constituencies, over Rs 64 crore could not be spent in 16 other constituencies where Muslims account for more than 20 percent of the population.
All these 33 seats are represented by BJP MPs.
The fund utilization percentage for 17 Dalit-dominated constituencies stood at 58.91 percent, while that for Muslim-majority constituencies was 67.76 percent.
“Average of the percent utilized for MPLAD funds drops for Dalit seats to 58.9 percent while it goes up significantly for Muslim seats to 67.8 percent. The average of all seats is 60.8 percent,” says the report.
However, if individual performance as for utilization of MPLAD funds is taken into consideration, two of all the 71 BJP MPs have performed the best.
BJP MP Satish Kumar of Aligarh has utilized 86 percent of the Rs 15 crore allotted to him for the development of his constituency. Maneka Gandhi, also from BJP, comes close second with 85.9 percent of utilization.
Kanwar Pushpendra Singh, BJP MP from Hamirpur, is the worst performer who utilized only 17 percent of his funds and Kannauj’s Dimple Yadav of Samajwadi Party, with 24 percent of funds utilization, is second from the bottom.