Awaiting Bonanza for AAP MLAs in Punjab: Rs 3 Lakh/month salary
#Arvind Kejriwal is a shrewd Politician and knows how to keep his flock together and entice members of others flocks.
Aam Admi Party (#AAP) may not have been able to put Sheila Dixit in prison, install CCTVs for public, provide free Wifi to state or reduce corruption in Delhi, but it has made every Delhi MLA very rich. In December 2015, within months of forming its government, Kejriwal gave a humongous 400% #salary hike to Delhi MLAs, more than 95% of them were, not coincidentally, AAP members.
The monthly package of Delhi MLAs was increased from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.10 lakh per month, while their annual travelling allowance by an astounding 600%. While the MLAs could earlier avail the allowance only for trips in India, now they could use it to travel abroad as well. While introducing the Bill, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia enumerated the reasons behind the hike and claimed that it was needed to “serve the people”. Bizarrely, Delhi MLAs, most of them first timers, get paid more than India Prime Minister, #Narendra Modi.
The monthly gross salary of Delhi MLAs is now above Rs 3 Lakh, excluding the value of many perks like vehicles and home in the posh Lutyens’ New Delhi. Delhi Ministers get many additional benefits worth over Rs 1Lakh per month. This highly attractive salary, however, has not made Delhi MLAs any less corrupt. More AAP MLAs and ministers have been convicted of, and even jailed for, corruption than any other state government. While Delhi Police has been a little too anxious to show its efficiency in arresting the culprits, Arvind Kejriwal conveniently blames each and every case of corruption by its party members on Narendra Modi.
We can be certain that Punjab MLAs could expect the same. Probably the first act of a possible AAP government will be to gift an even bigger salary hike to Punjab MLAs to ‘tempt’ them away from corruption. Whether AAP would be able to tackle the drug menace and create jobs in the state in left to be seen. But the future prosperous Punjab MLAs are not likely to be bothered by these poor people’s problems.
DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.