Holy cow!

Spend money on people, not monuments, the Congress — which, having unfurled the banner of austerity, can now speak from the high moral ground — tells the Uttar Pradesh chief minister.

That would be this Congress?

The proposed memorial will be built on 1,412 hectares of forest land.

The AP government says it wants to develop the memorial – at an antipciated cost of around Rs 315 crore – into an important tourist attraction, to be readied by September next year.

And this one?

In reply to a Right To Information query filed by a resident of Mumbai, Chetan Kothari, it was revealed by the government that in the last five years, an expenditure of Rs 93.53 crore has been incurred towards the upkeep of these bungalows….

“Visit these bungalows and you will see construction work every now and then. They have engineered wood flooring, wall paneling and veneering, gypsum board and false ceiling, glazed shutters for doors, windows and glazed partitions, polished porcelain tiles in toilet and wall. All expensive ones,” Kothari said.

Some of the occupants of these bungalows include Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Talkatora Road, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar in Janpath, Defence Minister A K Antony in K M Marg, Home Minister P Chidambaram in Safdarjung Road and Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee in B K S Marg.

A total of 77 bungalows have been allotted to the various ministers. According to the reply, nearly Rs 11 crore was spent towards the upkeep of these bungalows in 2004-2005, Rs nine crore the next year followed by an expenditure of Rs 20 crore in 2006-2007 followed by Rs 33 crore in 2007-2008.

“They have spent Rs 21 crore alone till June 2009 for the maintenance of these bungalows,” Kothari said.

Note that we aren’t talking of decrepit, abandoned buildings being renovated — these are homes people lived in, continue to live in. Were they, do you suppose, in such a perilous state of disrepair as to necessitate this investment?

Note, too, that the bungalows on which this money is being expended includes the one tenanted by the high priest of austerity, Pranab Mukherjee himself. I wonder what the likes of Jayanti Natrajan and Tom Vadakkan have to say.

In passing, spotted this hilarious line in the ToI yesterday in an article on Rahul Gandhi as the new dalit icon: [See Page 12, ToI, September 28]:

Last week, he made a much talked about secret trip to Bahraich and Shravasti district.


2 thoughts on “Holy cow!

  1. Well vimal
    I always said this-the media is owned by congress and they cash in on every opportunity-even if they have to glorify death to gain some brownie points so be it.
    I dont even feel like getting down at Hyd airport bcos it is now named after the deceased congress leader-I mean AP has so many stalwarts why do u want to name an airport after Rajiv Gandhi who may not even have visited AP during his life time-Why not name it after PV Narsimha rao who was much better PM than RG and who also had his roots from AP?
    In few years time I bet every major construction site/monuments and welfare schemes will be named after the Gandhi family

  2. I was in AP (Tier-2 City) over the weekend for Dussera. I visited a few parts of the city including a place that i felt was the business/shopping district. I saw at least 4 large posters/cut-outs that messaged “We-miss-you-Dr.YSR” overall. I can only imagine the size of posters that are hitting Rayalaseema region right now …

    I had to visit one of the city’s top end hospital. While we were waiting (45 mins+), the TV in the visiting area was tuned to Sakshi TV (owned by YSR’s son!). It has been nearly a month since he passed away but you wouldn’t know it if you were watching the TV channel. For 50 mins, it was either singing his paeans, showing people’s sorrow over his demise or his actions as CM.

    If it wasn’t surprising, it would have been shameful as to how AP Congressmen are trying to convert YSR into a martyr/legend. YSR had middle of the road performance as CM and he returned with a diminished majority to power, thanks to Chiranjeevi who drew a lot of anti-Congress votes.

    I am not against YSR. Some of his schemes – esp. healthcare schemes for the poor would put US to shame were quite good but he was just about middle-of-the-road CM coming nowhere near Dixit or Modi for their performance as CM.

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