Lucknow, July 4 (PTI): Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday reversed his decision to allow MLAs to purchase four-wheelers worth up to Rs 20 lakh out of their local area development fund.
“I take back the decision now. I take back the whole decision... The reason behind this is that most of the MLAs have decided not to take the offer after the media hype,” he told reporters at his residence here.
“There are many MLAs who can't afford cars...The order was not for all, it was not compulsory for everyone to take the offer, Yadav said to defend his move to allow MLAs to buy four-wheelers and pay their depreciated value after five years to retain them.
“There are some MLAs who use 7-8 year old cars to go around their constituencies,” he noted.
The announcement in the state Assembly by the Chief Minister on Tuesday had sparked protests from BJP, BSP and Congress leaders who said the move would send a wrong message as the money to be used for buying the vehicles would come from MLAs' local area development fund.
The Chief Minister had said, “Despite a financial crisis, the SP government has fulfilled all the promises it made in the party manifesto in the budget. MLAs are allowed to purchase vehicles upto Rs 20 lakh from their local area development fund”.
He had said that value of the vehicle will be depreciated every year and at the end of five years, the MLAs could deposit the depreciated amount to retain the vehicle or otherwise hand it over to the government.
“This will help MLAs who do not have money to buy a vehicle”, Yadav had said, adding the government would not pay for maintenance of the vehicle. He had also announced the decision to hike the MLA fund by Rs 25 lakh from Rs 1.25 crore to Rs 1.50 crore.