Austerity talk irks Gowda

Mukherjee, recently, had proposed cuts in salary of Congress MPs and ministers in the wake of drought. In case of non-Congress MPs the Finance Minister said it was left to the individual party to decide.

Taking a dig at Mukherjee’s statement, Deve Gowda, on Saturday, termed it an “inconsequential” suggestion. “Can we mobilise enough resources to cope with the economic slowdown if all MPs start travelling in the economy class?...If it is true, I am even ready to give up my salary,” the JD(S) chief told the media at the party office.

No MP goes to Delhi to make merry. “For aged people like me travelling in the economy class is difficult. I need some space and have to stretch my legs while sitting in the plane...Should I approach the PM with an application asking for concession for me to travel in the business class,?” he asked.

Gowda further said he has never made use of railway coupons, Government bungalow and the car. “As a former PM, I am entitled for a type 8 Government bungalow in Delhi, built on a sprawling 15 acre plot. But I am staying in a small house located in a narrow lane,” he said adding that he does not need to learn from Mukherjee about simple living.
He also alleged that the then Government in 1998 deliberately took away the official car provided to him, and, therefore, he had to buy a second-hand ambassador car of his own. “I am sure that the time will come for me to retaliate for all these ill-treatments,” he stated. Gowda instead asked the Centre to organise a debate, and there he would give valuable suggestions on saving tax-payers’ money.

BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu, who was in Bangalore on Saturday, reacted to Mukherjee’s statement. “If Centre has to maintain austerity, the first thing to do is to stop issuing advertisements in newspapers”, he said.

DH News Service

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