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State govt's 'special' funds for MLAs to keep flock together

Pre-election fringe benefits are something our netas are accustomed to, and this time those from Congress and NCP in the state are the ones likely to witness a windfall.

Sources say, on a mission to preserve its numbers, the Democratic Front government is planning to allocate an additional Rs 10 crore to each of its MLAs for development work.

Not only ministers, even officials are tight-lipped about the tacit move. Each legislator from Congress and NCP has been asked to submit lists of planned development projects to guardian ministers of respective districts, sources told this
newspaper.

Even the party offices of both Congress and NCP have been involved in the exercise and the list of works that will prove useful in appeasing voters, will be approved on priority.

Legislators from opposition parties may not figure in the list of allocations, as this is purely a political move, sources claimed. It’s been customary to apportion special funds to ruling party MLAs before elections to Lok Sabha and the state assembly. The recommended projects mostly concern roads and repair works undertaken by PWD and irrigation. 

The choice of such ventures is beneficial in more ways than one as legislators can point out some visible changes in their constituencies. Also, the projects have involvement of contractors who are close to politicians and are most cooperative during election time, said sources. 

The distribution of Rs 10 crore to each ruling party MLA may require additional funds of approximately Rs 150 crore. Interestingly, the government was silent when leader of opposition in state council Vinod Tawde raised questions over the government’s move to keep aside Rs 500 crore from the annual budget for the year 2013-14.  

Rs 10 cr The amount expected to be allocated to each ruling party MLA in the form of special funds 

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