More than 800 parliamentarians, including current, former and deceased, have not cleared their electricity and water payments, worth Rs 6 cr, due to the New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC). The list includes some names from the current UPA Cabinet, as well as deceased leaders such as former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, former ministers Madhavrao Scindia, Rajesh Pilot, Indrajit Gupta, etc.
The said piled up when these parliamentarians availed the residential facilities in government-allotted houses in New Delhi. Many of them continue to occupy their abodes but evaded paying their dues.
NDMC officials say that MPs do not pay attention to the notifications served to them. So the municipal body has decided to move court in case the dues are delayed further.
When this correspondent checked with the Lok Sabha secretariat about the delay in the clearance of dues, an official said that the MPs were supposed to pay the dues from their stipends and pension. "Hence, they will reply on their own on why they are delaying their dues. We continue to inform them about their pending dues," said the official.
The Liaison Office of Parliament has released a list which puts the number of pending dues to 3,346. While the late Congress MP Abdul Ghani Khan Chowdhary owes the maximum Rs 422,1971, Shiv Sena MP Anant Gudhe owes a minimum of Rs 11.17.
Some of the prominent names from the current crop of MPs, who owe a considerable sum of money, are Lalu Prasad Yadav, Shashi Tharoor, Rajnath Singh, Ram Vilas Paswan, Deepender Singh Hooda, Raj Babbar and Najma Heptulla.
When contacted, all of them said that they were not deliberately delaying their dues and have instructed their staff to clear them as soon as possible.
Commenting on the dues of deceased MPs like Rao, Scindia and Pilot, a senior Congress leader quipped, "Can't they be pardoned?"
The Lok Sabha secretariat was clueless about how the deceased MPs' dues would be recovered.