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Do you know what your MPs are being pampered with? 5 perks of being an MP!

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Image Courtesy: Rediff.com

By Shilpika Srivastava

Why are our MPs so rich and the janta so poor? A question that has silently crept in the hearts and minds of millions of other citizens! Unfortunately, the reverberating hum of such silence has always been neglected by those who are actually appointed to shoot the answer.

No, we are not at all against the wealth! Everybody fancies a social establishment, which confides in capitalism and offers everyone a fair chance to build and accumulate the moolah.

So what if they have some undeclared assets cinched away in benami corporations and tabs where some distant nephew of the cook’s uncle is the declared owner.

Do you know that about 82% of the MPs in Lok Sabha 2014 are millionaires? Well, nothing to be surprised though. But, it’s like the Riches fighting for the Poors; and we all know what happens in the end.

In 2014’s Lok Sabha elections, there were 2217 candidates (27%) who entered the battlefield of politics. What’s more surprising is that almost 82% of the candidates, who were declared as the winners in the polls, were millionaires.

And, it’s not just the hunger for power that these candidates do not leave any stone unturned to grab the seat, but it’s also the greed for enjoying the facilities that they would be pampered with once they’re declared victorious. It’s like the Riches getting ‘more rich’!

So, here are surprising 5 perks that you didn’t know your MPs are being pampered with. (After reading this, many of you might consider joining politics as a full-time career.)

1. Your MPs get Rs. 2,000 per day for each day of residence on duty. So, how much annually? Now, you do the maths! In addition, they also receive Rs. 45,000 per month as constituency allowance. You know, how much they spend on their constituencies, right? And, their office expenses sum up to Rs. 45,000 per month.
2. Your MPs get exciting travelling allowances and travel facilities. A Member of Parliament is entitled to innumerous journeys via rail, air and road. The Constitution of India allows these facilities and allowances to be performed for attending a Parliament Session or meeting of a Parliamentary Committee or for the purpose of attending any other business connected with the duties as a member. The allowances are given from the place of usual residence to the place of duty and for return journey from such place to the place of usual residence.
To add more, every member is given the facility to avail 34 single air journeys during a year with spouse or any number of companions or relatives.
3. Your MPs also enjoy facilities such as, their sofa covers and curtains being washed every three months, furniture within the monetary ceiling of Rs. 60,000 in respect of durable furniture and Rs. 15,000 for non-durable furniture.
4. Your MPs could literally talk for free on a phone. Trust us, they won’t have to spend even a single penny out of their pocket. A member is entitled to have three telephones.
Just like we buy free local or STD minutes from our mobile phone operators, a member gets free 50,000 local calls during a year at a cost of being an MP. What’s more? These 50,000 free local calls can be clubbed together, which totals to 1,50,000 local calls in a year.
5. In this era, where there is so much hue and cry over electricity bills, your MPs are entitled to 50,000 units (Yes, 50,000 units) of electricity per annum for FREE!

And, those 5 points are just a tip of the iceberg. Do you think the angst and agony of a poor can be understood by a person who is showered by tons of facilities and allowances by our very own Constitution? Don’t you think their ‘increment’ should be based on their ‘performance’? We are waiting for your opinions!

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Thailand Voters Get To Vote For The First Time Since 2014 Coup

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A Thai officer checks a clock to commence voting at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019. Thailand's first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup has begun. VOA

Voters in Thailand were heading to the polls Sunday in the country’s first election since the military ousted an elected government in a 2014 coup.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, the army chief who led the coup, is hoping to extend his hold on power after engineering a new political system that aims to stifle the influence of big political parties not aligned with the military.

About 51 million Thais are eligible to vote. Leaders of political parties opposed to military rule have urged a high turnout as the only way to derail Prayuth’s plans.

The junta leader was among the first to vote in the Thai capital Bangkok, arriving in a Mercedes, after polling booths opened at 8 a.m.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha casts his vote at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019, during the nation's first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup.
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha casts his vote at a polling station in Bangkok, Thailand, March 24, 2019, during the nation’s first general election since the military seized power in a 2014 coup. VOA

Speaking to reporters after casting his ballot, Prayuth said, “I hope everyone helps each other by going to vote today as it’s everyone’s right.”

The election is the latest chapter in a nearly two-decade struggle between conservative forces including the military and the political machine of Thaksin Shinawatra, a tycoon who upended tradition-bound Thailand’s politics with a populist political revolution.

Thaksin was ousted in a 2006 military coup and now lives in exile abroad to avoid a prison term, but parties allied with him have won every election since 2001. His sister, Yingluck Shinawatra, who led the government that was ousted in 2014, also fled the country after what supporters said was a politically motivated corruption prosecution.

Thailand’s powerful King Maha Vajiralongkorn issued a statement on the eve of the election that said the role of leaders is stop “bad people” from gaining power and causing chaos.

Invoking a speech by his father, the previous Thai king who died in 2016 after reigning for seven decades, Vajiralongkorn said not all citizens can be transformed into good people so leaders must be given support in ruling to create a peaceful nation.

He urged government officials, soldiers and civil servants to look after national security.

Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward Party, poses as he casts his vote during general election at a polling station in Bangkok, March 24, 2019.
Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, leader of Future Forward Party, poses as he casts his vote during general election at a polling station in Bangkok, March 24, 2019. VOA

It was the monarch’s second notable intervention in politics recently. Last month, he demanded his sister Princess Ubolratana Mahidol withdraw as a prime ministerial candidate for a small Thaksin-allied party within 24 hours of her announcement.

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One of the first people to vote, 92-year-old Prabha Svarachorn, echoed the royal statement.

“I come to vote whenever there is an election,” she said. “I think it’s our duty to vote for good people. I would like people to come to vote.” (VOA)