A storm is brewing in Madhya Pradesh over renovating ministers’ bungalows when the state’s anganwadi centres require funds urgently. These centres, mandated to take care of children and support them, are on the verge of closing down because the state government is yet to release Rs 40 crore for them. On the other hand, it has reportedly spent close to Rs 4 crore on repairing official bungalows of ministers in Bhopal, Public Works Department Minister Sajjan Singh Verma said in response to a question in the Assembly last week. The Opposition grabbed the opportunity. While the government says the previous regime left the treasury empty, it spent crores on sprucing up ministers' bungalows, said former minister and senior BJP legislator Narottam Mishra.
A breath of cool air
Missing Assembly sessions will no longer be easy for MLAs in Madhya Pradesh. Assembly Speaker N P Prajapati has ordered if a member is absent citing illness, a medical certificate signed by a "medical board" has to be submitted. Not only that, if a member wants leave to attend a wedding or any other social gathering, the invitation card for this must be produced. With the new rules coming into force, a member rued, "We are representatives of the people, so why treat us as government servants?"