The Youth Congress' decision to buy the car by collecting money from party workers has invited criticism from the opposition and from within the party.

Why the Youth Congress move to buy a car for MP Remya Haridas has kicked up a row
news Politics Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 19:15
 
The decision of the Youth Congress wing of the Alathur Parliamentary constituency to ‘gift’ a car worth Rs 14 lakh to Member of Parliament Remya Haridas has kicked up a row in Kerala.
 
The Youth Congress had decided to hand over the car bought with money collected from party workers to the MP on August 9 to commemorate the Youth Congress Foundation Day. The committee also brought out coupons of Rs 1000 to collect money from the party workers and had started collecting money.
 
The Youth Congress' move was backed by Anil Akkara, the Congress MLA representing Wadakkancherry constituency in the Alathur neighbourhood. Anil had actively campaigned for Remya. She had gone on to win in the CPI(M) bastion becoming the second woman Dalit MP from the state after Bhargavi Thanappa of the CPI who had won back in 1971 from Adoor seat.
 
The opposition was quick to criticise on two counts; one that money was being collected from Youth Congress workers and the fact that the car was being bought for an MP who earns around Rs two lakhs a month- Rs 1.90 lakh as salary and allowance per month.
 
“Interest less loans are available for MPs if they wish to purchase a car and that can be arranged by the concerned staff.  The loan would be deducted from the MP's salary and certain taxes are not applicable to these purchases. I wonder, then why money should be collected from party workers to purchase a car for an MP,” a former MP of the CPI told TNM, adding that he doesn’t think Remya was aware of the move to collect money.
 
The move of the Youth wing of the party was not appreciated by the Congress leadership as well.
 
KPPC President and former Union minister of state Mullappally Ramachandran has said that the move to collect money was unfair. “MPs would get loans for buying vehicles and Remya now has the financial ability to repay the loan. I would not accept the money if I was in her place,” Mullappally reportedly said.
 
The Alathur Parliament committee will convene a meeting on Monday to review its decision as the party leadership has expressed displeasure.
 
“Members of Parliament  do not get an official vehicle. Though they get a fairly good salary and allowance, that money is mostly spent on staff salary and paying house rent. Since she is from Kozhikode, she has had to rent out two houses- one in Thrissur and another in Palakkkad for looking after the affairs of the constituency.  The plan was to gift a Mahindra Marazzo during the reception that we have arranged for her and Palakkad MP VK Sreekandan on August 9 in connection with the foundation day. We did not inform the MP about it in advance as it was supposed to be surprise," Youth Congress President of Alathur, Palayam Pradeep told TNM.
 
He added that the decision was approved by the committee unanimously but since the leadership has expressed displeasure, it will be taken up for discussion on Monday.
 
Remya Haridas was unavailable for comment.

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