Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Baijayant Panda has created a stir in political circles and other forums by revealing that he has been, for several years now, returning his salary and daily allowance in the same proportion, as the time that has been lost in the Lok Sabha due to disruptions.
Speaking to ANI here after creating a storm on Twitter post his revelation, Panda said that he has been doing this for about four or five years at the end of every washed out session.
However, he asserted that this was a ‘symbolic’ gesture and in no way did it compensate for the massive amount of money wasted at the end of a washed out session.
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“This is my symbolic gesture. Of course this is nothing compared to the huge amount of money that is being wasted. The country is losing lot of money due to Parliament disruptions. My conscience bothers me that we are all taking all these benefits and not doing the job that we are supposed to do. This is despite the fact that I have not disrupted the Parliament myself even once in the last 16 years,” Panda said.
Reiterating that this a matter of his own personal conscience, Panda stated that he has been advocating for rules change in Parliament so that it can function better, but that is a long term objective, adding that in the mean time, returning his salary is the least that he can do.
Refraining from commenting on if other MPs should follow his path, Panda further said that in no way can he impose his conscience on others.
“Each MP has to take their own decision based on their economic condition. Anyway, there are many MPs who should not be held accountable as they have not disrupted parliament. This is personal, not imposing this on anyone,” he added.
Meanwhile, backing Panda, Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel said that the minister has taken a positive step as it assuages the common man, in a small way, who resents the failed Parliament session. “Politicians need to think about their image that is being seen by the public. The Centre should call an all party meeting to discuss this issue and deliberate, that should salaries be given up at the end of a washed out session,” Goel told ANI here.