After a humiliating defeat from the Pataliputra constituency in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Rajya Sabha member Misa Bharti has withdrawn the sanctioned approvals worth Rs 15 crores from her MPLAD fund.
Under MPLAD funds, each Member of Parliament from either House gets Rs 5 crore every year to carry out developmental work in his/her constituency. However, as per the reports, Misa Bharti, who got elected to the Upper House in 2016 did not use the funds for the first two years of her tenure. However, in the run-up to the Lok Sabha elections, Misa Bharti is reported to have extravagantly spent the funds from her MPLA funds in the rural Patna which comes under the Pataliputra constituency.
After losing the Pataliputra constituency to the sitting BJP MP and the former Union Minister Ram Kripal Yadav, sanctions previously approved for the development projects under MPLAD have been brusquely withdrawn. One of the Planning Department officials said to the PTI, “The sudden refusal to fund the projects has landed us in a soup. We had MP’s approval for projects worth Rs 15 crores and we had sanctioned for those worth Rs 6 crores. After her abrupt decision, we will have a lot of paperwork to be done.”
When asked about the recent move, RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said that he cannot comment on the issue as he does not have “full knowledge” of the matter. The BJP spokesperson Sanjay Singh ‘Tiger’ said, “Discrimination based on whether voters have voted for you or not sends a very wrong signal to the people.” JDU spokesperson Rajiv Ranjan Prasad echoed a similar sentiment. “It is unbecoming of a legislator to undo the approved on the account of an electoral defeat. It is against the democratic tradition,” he said.
The Pataliputra constituency was carved out after the delimitation exercise in 2008. However, in 2009 Lalu Prasad Yadav lost the seat to his close aide Ranjan Yadav who had fought against him from the JDU ticket. In 2014, the RJD supremo’s daughter Misa Bharti was fielded from the constituency, resulting in a rebellion by Ram Kripal Yadav who moved to the BJP and defeated her from there. In 2019 too, Ram Kripal Yadav trounced Misa Bharti from the constituency which is considered as a prestige issue for the Yadav clan.
The performance of the RJD, whose supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav is convicted for his role in the fodder scam, was dismal in the Lok Sabha elections. Out of the 40 Lok Sabha constituencies in Bihar, RJD could not manage to win a single seat.