Kerala MP turns down vehicle offer by fund pooling

Kerala MP turns down vehicle offer by fund pooling

Congress MP from Alathur constituency Ramya Haridas (PTI File Photo)

Ramya Haridas, the lone woman MP from Kerala, has declined an offer by the Youth Congress workers to pool funds to buy a multi-purpose-vehicle for her.

Differences expressed by Kerala PCC president Mullappally Ramachandran against the move prompted Ramya to reject the offer.

Close on the heels of Mr Ramachandran, who was a former union minister, expressing his displeasure, Ramya made a post on the social media that the PCC president's word was her last breath.

"If the chief of the party that brought me to his level says a word, that is my last breath. Even while going through tough times of life, I got relief from social work. Hence I want to ensure utmost transparency in my public life," Ramya said.

Ramya, who hailed from a financially weak Dalit family background, was handpicked by Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the Lok Sabha polls and she became a woman from the Dalit community to make it to the Lok Sabha from Kerala after 48 years.

Youth Congress workers of her constituency Alathur in Palakkad districts of central Kerala made the initiative to buy an MPV worth Rs. 14 lakh by pooling Rs. 1,000 from party workers and her well-wishers. This invited criticism from various quarters that as MP Ramya would be drawing remuneration of around Rs. 1.9 lakhs and even interest-free vehicle loan.

But her supporters defended the move citing that as MP she would get only Rs. 4 lakh vehicle loan and a major chunk of her remuneration need to be spent on maintaining a local office. Since she earlier faced bank attachment proceedings, it won't be easy for her to get a bank loan.

The stand taken by PCC president had not gone down well with many Congress and Youth Congress workers.

It may be recalled that Ramya's well-wishers had initiated a fund challenge for meeting her election campaign expenses. It had received a huge response. Congress MLA Anil Akkara, who managed Ramya's election accounts, said that a major chunk of the Rs 67 lakh contributions received by Ramya was through contributions by her well-wishers.