Tuesday, November 2, 2010
PETITION FROM VOTERS
A PETITION FROM THE CONSTITUENTS OF A LOK SABHA MP TO THE UNION CABINET.
(Kindly circulate in my constituency and ensure it has one lakh signatures)
We, the undersigned, believe the Union Cabinet has erred grievously in its recent announcement of a mere 300 per cent increase in the salaries and perquisites of our most honourable member of parliament. He is an upstanding man of great integrity who has worked hard to serve us, his constituents, to the best of his abilities. He visits us annually to ensure that we are benefitting from all his good work.
He is a most humble man and wears only the kurtas and dhotis; often we noted his clothing has been patched. We appreciate his humility as we know he possesses many Gucci suits, especially hand-made for him, whenever he travels to a place called Milan. His wife possesses many Dolce Gabba items of clothing and accessories too from this very place but as we never see her we appreciate her humility too. He does not come in a grand vehicle but in a 1999 Tata Sumo which he has possessed for many years as he cannot travel on our kutcha roads in his BMW SUV.
On his annual visit yesterday, we gathered as always, under the bodhi tree to hear his problems. As he does not have much time, being a busy man, he does not hear our problems. They are simple – no electricity, no schools, no health clinics, no roads, no jobs, no food - and not worth his valuable time. Which we understand.
His problems brought tears to our eyes that the unjust Union Cabinet only granted a 300 per cent pay increase. He wept as he told us how hard it was for him to maintain himself, his family, his friends, his chamchas, and his many homes, on such a paltry amount. And we wept along with him. And how could he visit twice a year when all he was given was 30 air coupons? By the time he flew weekly to Mumbai to attend the parties thrown by his Bollywood friends (who campaign here with him once in five years but we have not seen their films as we have no electricity or a cinema house), he has no air coupons left to visit us.
He cannot even telephone us, not because we don’t have any telephone connections, but he has to make hundreds of calls to his bankers, investment advisers, real estate agents, Swiss banks, Cayman Island banks. The cost of making such long distance calls to phoren countries consumed his 1.5 lakh annual free calls. He had us weeping for him when he pointed to his old Sumo. How could he pay for his BMW SUV when the cabinet gave him a mere five lakhs advance when the vehicle costs nearly one crore.
Don’t you want to be proud of your MP arriving at parties in his BMW? He asked. ‘Yes, yes,’ we agreed. He also pleaded with us to understand that, as a humble MP, he was not at all corrupt. He only took a 50 per cent commission on projects allocated to our constituency. Ministers, he told us, took 90 per cent and he wasn’t as greedy as they were.
For our school (he laid the foundation stone four years ago) it wasn’t his fault that only 20 bricks and a bag of cement was delivered; it wasn’t his fault that the electric cables fell 10 kilometres short of our constituency; it wasn’t his fault that the clinic wasn’t built with the 40 bricks; it wasn’t his fault the telephone cable didn’t reach us.
Therefore, we all sign this petition demanding that the Union Cabinet grant our MP a 600 per cent increase in salary and perquisites.