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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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India China’s Fight Over the Doklam Plateau Explained

Doklam or Donglang, is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India

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picture from- indiaopines.com

By Ruchika Verma

  • India and China have an old history of disputes
  • This time, the dispute is regarding the Dokplam Plateau
  • The area is of strategic importance for both the nations

Disputes between India and China are not at all uncommon. The rivalry between the two nations is famous. There have been several disputes between the two on the India-China border in past, and there seems to be no stopping for these disputes in the present or future, for that matter.

India and China have a n old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com
India and China have an old history of repeated disputes. zeenews.india.com

In June 2017, the world witnessed yet another dispute arising between India and China. This time the dispute was about China building a road extending to Doklam Plateau, which both nations have been fighting over for years now.

Also Read: China is likely to get involved if India disrupts $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

History of the dispute 

Doklam or Donglang (in Chinese), is a disputed area between China and Bhutan located near their tri-junction with India. India doesn’t directly claim the area but supports Bhutan’s claims on it.

India fits into the picture, as this plateau is an important area for India. Not only is Bhutan one of the biggest allies of India; China gaining access over the Doklam Plateau will also endanger India’s borders, making them vulnerable to attacks.

Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan's borders.
Dopkam plateau is an important area near India, China and Bhutan’s borders.

Apart from the hostile history of the two nations, the Doklam Plateau is also important for India to maintain its control over a land corridor that connects to its remote northeastern States. China building a road through Doklam surely threatens that control.

A complete timeline of what happened in the recent Doklam Standoff 

On 16 June 2017, Chinese troops with construction vehicles and excavators began extending an existing road southward on the Doklam plateau, near India’s border. It was Bhutan which raised the alarm for India.

On 18 June 2017, India responded by sending around 270 Indian troops, with weapons and two bulldozers to evict the Chinese troops from Doklam.

On 29 June 2017, Bhutan protested against the construction of a road in the disputed territory.  According to the Bhutanese government, China attempted to extend a road in an area which is shared both Bhutan and India, along with China.

Between 30 June 2017 and 5 July 2017, China released multiple statements justifying their claim over the Doklam plateau. They cited reasons as to why the Doklam standoff wasn’t really needed. And how China has not intruded into India’s territory to incite the standoff.

On 19th July 2017, China asked India again to withdraw its troops from the Doklam. On 24th July 2017,  Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, in his statement, asked India to withdraw and behave themselves to maintain peace.

India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC
India and China seem to never agree when it comes to their borders. BBC

Also Read: Why India Must Counter China’s High-Altitude Land Grab?

What followed till 16th August 2017 was China constantly alleging India of trying to create trouble. They accused India of trying to disturb the peace and not withdrawing the troops, even after repeated reminders. They also accused India of bullying.

India, however, kept quiet during the whole fiasco, only releasing a statement regarding their stand and position at the Doklam standoff.

On 28 August 2017, India and China finally announced that they had agreed to pull their troops back from the Doklam standoff. The withdrawal was completed on that very day.

On 7 September 2017, many media reports claimed that both nation’s troops have not left the site completely. They were still patrolling the area, simply having moved 150 meters away from their previous position.

On 9 October 2017, China announced that it is ready to maintain peace with India at the frontiers. India reacted in affirmative, the peace was established when Indian Defence Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman’s visited Nathu La.

The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay
The issue between the two nations may rise again. Pixabay

The Doklam issue, for now, is resolved. However, given the history of disputes between India and China, it won’t be a surprise if the issue resurfaces again in near future.