Expose: Rahul Gets ‘Pay Without Work’
As there are questions again about Rahul Gandhi’s disappearance from the national scene, the official documents accessed by Organiser show that he has availed his salary and allowances without any work during the budget session. This raises many technical and moral issues about the conduct of a leader, claiming to be pro-poor.
It pays to be a Gandhi. Ask Rahul Gandhi, the 44 year old scion of the Gandhi dynasty. While common persons would be stripped of their salary for being absent from office for 56 days Rahul Gandhi not only gets his salary, he is not even docked a single day’s pay.
In March this year, posters came up in Amethi screaming Kahan tum chalein gaye. The posters were looking for missing parliamentarian from Amethi, Rahul Gandhi. Even as the media speculated about Gandhi’s absence – the usual rumours of Gandhi holidaying did the rounds – Parliament was doing its job. A raging debate on the controversial land bill was going on. Gandhi’s own party, Congress, was bent on scuttling the bill which could have changed the economic progress of the country.
Through it all, for 56 days, Gandhi was missing in action. No one knew where he was except for his doting ‘Mamma’, Sonia Gandhi. Even senior Congress leaders were questioning his absence during April. When Rahul baba came back, no explanations, no reasons were given for his absence even as the Congress party heaved a sigh of relief, and followed him like lambs to Parliament.
It is therefore, not only ironical but a cruel mockery of the people of the country that despite being absent for 56 days, during the most crucial period of the budget session, Mr Gandhi still got privileges.
Under section 3 of the Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament Act, 1954, a member is entitled to receive a salary at the rate of Rs 50,000 per month during the whole of his term of office. Subject to any rules made under this Act, an allowance at the rate of Rs 2,000 for each day is also paid during any period of residence on duty. This however, is subject to conditions: like no member shall be entitled to the aforesaid allowance unless he signs the register, maintained for this purpose by the Secretariat of the House of the People or, as the case may be, Council of States, on all the days (except intervening holidays for which no such signing is required) of the session of the House for which the allowance is claimed.
Yet, despite an absence that was recorded publicly – by the media, by the people in his constituency, by the absence of any signature in the register kept in Parliament – Mr Gandhi was still paid his full salary of Rs 50,000, along with the daily stipend for his office. (Source : http://loksabha.nic.in)
As a Member of Parliament, apart from giving speeches in rallies, an MP needs to attend the session regularly to raise issues on the floor of the House and also to discuss issues of national and international importance. And especially if it was a budget session, it becomes more crucial for every MP to attend the session. Mr Gandhi not only left the session midway, he didn’t even bother to inform the House or his constituency voters about his whereabouts. Being a public person, he is paid from the public exchequer. Yet, the public doesn’t know why Mr Gandhi was missing. Or that he got his salary without being penalised for being absent from the Parliament, simply because he needed a break.
Is this what Mr Gandhi was elected for? So that he could go off on holiday whenever he wants, and still pocket a substantial salary! Any other common man would have had to give an explanation, if not, his resignation after missing from work for so long.
Mr Gandhi, on the other hand, on his return suddenly woke up to the plight of farmers and ranted against the elected government, coining phrases like suit-boot ki sarkar to score political points. It seemed Mr Gandhi’s concern was missing, like him, for 56 days.
Also missing is any concept of ethics, or a sense of responsibility towards the nation. Even as important reforms in the form of bills are pending in Parliament, traders struggle to survive and workers starve, an MP enjoys his salary without remorse. It looks like, a common Bharateeya is not only paying Mr Gandhi’s salary, but also for his vacations now.
(The writer is a researcher who writes on governance and development related issues)
As a bolt from the blue for the Congress ahead of Bihar Elections, after his 56 days long sabbatical in the early this year, Rahul Gandhi went ‘missing’ once again on. Amid of the speculations floating around, the Congress is found themselves in an awkward position trying to give good reasons for their Vice-President’s sudden disappearance.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra rightly observed it as a forceful vacation. “Gandhi has been sent for a forceful vacation as Nitish and Lalu were not comfortable with his presence in Bihar”, he said.
“Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi is travelling to Aspen, US on a short visit to attend a conference. The conference is expected to be attended by global leaders from various domains, both from government and private sectors”, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala came up with a bizarre explanation.
The party was taking a U-turn from the earliest comments made by Congress sources that their leader was on an ‘un-official visit’ to the US. If his visit was intended for an official purpose, there would have been an official announcement from his party. It is more than a mockery of public, not only his party workers. As a political leader, Rahul is bound to keep up certain political transparency and reveal his whereabouts.
As the controversy is heating up, BJP spokesperson G V L Narasimha Rao revealed an amusing fact that the conference which Rahul claimed to have gone to attend is already over. ‘Weekend with Charlie Rose’ was scheduled to be held between June 25 and July 4!
Despite all humiliating facts, the Congress Party is still resorting to blatant lies and their innate falsehood. As the party is facing a critical election is Bihar, being its Vice-President, Rahul Gandhi should not have run away from the battle field like a fugitive. Whether it was at the behest of his ‘Mamma’ or a decision taken by himself, atleast some of the party-workers may be hoping that it will alleviate the intensity of the foretold and guaranteed downfall of the Congress and its allies in Bihar. As Sambit Patra said, it must be a forced vacation. Let us wait and see that whether he beats his previous record of 56 days.
Ganesh Krishnan R