It’s a battle of brothers. And younger cousin Varun Gandhi appears to have the upper hand, at least when it comes to funding the development of his constituency. Spending nearly 78% of his MP local area development scheme (MPLADS) funds for Pilibhit, Gandhi has emerged the highest spender among MPs from UP.
In contrast, Congress scion Rahul Gandhi was able to utilise less than 6% of funds allocated to him for development of Amethi under MPLADS.
Even Varun’s mother Maneka Gandhi pips her sister-in-law Sonia Gandhi on this count. Although Rae Bareli MP has done much better than her son with 41.78% utilisation of funds, she is much behind Maneka, the Aonla MP, who spent 71.5% of her fund. Fund utilization under MPLADS is not all that was found wanting. In Uttar Pradesh, MPs also seemed to have been ineffective in getting sanctioned works completed.
In Amethi, for instance, though Rahul Gandhi recommended 11 projects in 2009-10, not a single of them could be completed by February 2010. In Pilibhit, Varun Gandhi fared a little better. He recommended 39 works, of which 33 were sanctioned. However, only one project could be completed by the end of January 2010.