CPM gets richer with MPs' pay hike

A Lok Sabha MP will now have to deposit as much as Rs 75,000 out of the Rs 1.10 lakh he or she gets as salary and allowances with the party every month, a senior state committee member told Deccan Herald here. Similarly, the party has refixed the monthly contribution of Rajya Sabha MPs to the party kitty at Rs 80,000. He said the decision to increase the levy from MPs was taken by the CPM state committee, which met here two days ago.

 “The CPM is not like any other party. It takes care of most of the financial needs of an MP or MLA. In fact, when they fight elections, it is the party, which spends every pie,’’ he said. An MP who also did not want to be quoted said there was nothing new in the CPM collecting levies from its MPs and MLAs. “Even when we were drawing Rs 42,000, we had to give about Rs 35,000 to the party,’’ he said.

That’s not all. Retired MPs will now have to remit Rs 10,000 out of the Rs 25,000 they draw as pension to the party. The party’s assessment is that a retired MP can make do with Rs 15,000 a month since the monthly pension was Rs 8,000 till a few months ago. The CPM presently has four Lok Sabha MPs and two Rajya MPs from Kerala.  

“It all depends on one’s style of living. The party had opposed the pay hike for MPs as it thought that such a steep rise was unnecessary. Indeed, for those who take politics as a service, such high salaries are absolutely not necessary,’’ the MP said. So, it was only natural that when the salaries were raised, there had to be a corresponding rise in the levies too. The collection of hefty levies by the CPM is in keeping with the ongoing “rectification drive’’ to purge the party of undesirable tendencies that include the growing parliamentary ambitions of its leaders.

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