Use of development fund for the family school and college by MLA
The Members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) of Uttar Pradesh are granted a Vidhayak Nidhi for the development work. The amount allotted was Rs 1.25 crore per year which was increased to Rs 1.50 crore per year in 2012.
Reply from the district rural development agency of Pratapgarh to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that during the last five years Pramod Tiwari, a MLA from Rampur of Uttar Pradesh, has sanctioned over Rs 1.40 crore from his Vidhayak Nidhi to Intermediate College and a school. While he himself is the manager of Intermediate College, his daughter, Aradhana Mishra, is the manager of the school named Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya, Sangramgarh.
- In 2007-08, an amount of Rs. 25 lakh was given to Intermediate College, Sangramgarh, for “construction of rooms” out of the total sanctioned amount of Rs. 1.23 crore from the Vidhayak Nidhi.
- In 2008-09, an amount of Rs. 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya, Sangramgarh, and an amount of Rs. 2.5 lakh was granted to Intermediate College, Sangramgarh out of the total sanctioned amount of Rs. 1.19 crore from the Vidhayak Nidhi.
- In each of the financial years 2009-10 and 2010-11, an amount of Rs. 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya and Rs. 5 lakh to Intermediate College, Sangramgarh. The total sanctioned amount released from Vidhayak Nidhi was Rs 1.21 crore and Rs. 1.13 crore respectively.
- In 2011-12, an amount of Rs. 25 lakh was given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya and Rs. 3.30 lakh to Intermediate College, Sangramgarh out of a total of Rs. 48.54 lakh released from the Vidhayak Nidhi.
The net amounts given to Saryu Indira Mahavidyalaya amounted to Rs. 1 crore while the Intermediate College, Sangramgarh received Rs 40.8 lakh in the last five years.
The state government has barred legislators from disbursing funds from the Vidhayak Nidhi the MLAs’ local area development fund to institutions run by them or their family members. According to the new guidelines issued by the rural development department, a MLA cannot grant more than Rs. 25 lakh per institution. Further, a MLA cannot recommend allotment of funds to an institution where either the legislator or his family members hold a post. Pramod Tiwari had criticised the decision, calling it as “against the rights of MLAs” and had demanded withdrawal of the directions.