Inflation burns MPs' pockets too!

Many former and present MPs have figured on defaulters' list of NDMC for their dues on water and electricity bills

Shocking as it may sound, the recent inflation has not just hit lives of the common man, but even Members of Parliament (MPs) are sufferers of price-rise. In a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) plea, more than 700 MPs were found to be in the defaulters' list for the water and electricity bill by the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). The RTI was filed by an advocate (also a RTI activist), Piyush Jain, on July 4. The list includes big names like Uma Bharti, Vijay Goel, Ahmed Patel, Sushma Swaraj, Sunil Dutt, Shatrughan Sinha and many more.

Seat of power (bills): Advocate and activist Piyush Jain had filed an RTI
application at the NDMC office (above) regarding the issue. File pic

Power play
Interestingly, even though the amounts due are not much, still the popular MPs have not paid the sum to the civic agency. The total amount due from 759 MPs is around Rs 1 crore. The defaulter with the highest amount is Rajesh Pilot, who was a member of  Congress and represented Dausa constituency in Lok Sabha. He died on June 11, 2000 in a car accident.

"The behaviour of the government should be same with all people, whether it is an MP or a common man. There are many MPs, like Sunil Dutt, who are no more. Their lawyers should be informed about the same. Though the amount is not much, it is about rules and regulations, which should be same for every person," Jain said.

Young and old
Interestingly, Agatha Sangma, the youngest minister of state in the cabinet, owes only Rs 100 for electricity and Rs 8 for water. Similarly, Ahmed Patel has to pay Rs 465 for electricity. Sharad Pawar is liable to pay around Rs 28,000 for power and Sushma Swaraj only Rs 2,400 for power and water.

Digvijay Singh owes around Rs 13,000 for electricity and Rs 300 for the water bill, Jagdish Tytler has to pay Rs 77,000 for electricity.  There are many MPs who are no more. Former Prime Minister PV Narsimha Rao has to pay, Rs 38,000 for electricity and Rs 2,500 for water. Actress Shabana Azmi, who is now an MP too, owes Rs 13,000 for the electricity bill. The list also includes names of many ex-MPs such as Sahib Singh Verma and Shatrughan Sinha. When MiD-DAY inquired about this, the official spokesperson for NDMC said, "I can't comment on it. This is a reply to an RTI plea with list of outstanding dues. Due process of law is applicable."

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