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Congress MP’s grand plans to buy Rs 14 lakh MUV with ‘donation’ money from party workers hits roadblock

FE Online
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A Congress MP’s plan to raise money from her party workers in Kerala to purchase a Multi-Utility vehicle (MUV) has not gone down well with the party’s state leadership on Monday.

Ramya Haridas, who is a member of parliament from Alathur in Kerala, planned to buy an MUV worth Rs 14 lakh by collecting the money from 1,400 booths from her constituency with a minimum donation of Rs 1,000 “exclusively” from Congress party’s youth wing.

While the Congress MP had earlier raised Rs 67 lakh from the general public during the poll campaign, this time mobilising the money for the car from the party workers started a row in the party, with one faction raising questions on the propriety of the plan of buying a car for her.

After Congress state president Mullappally Ramachandran strongly objected to the exercise, Haridas decided to refuse the car being 'gifted' by the party workers on Monday saying that she was “an obedient worker” and took the words of the party president seriously.

Adding that Haridas’s decision would be welcomed by the Congress workers, Ramachandran responded by saying that Haridas came to public life after admiring the Gandhian values and every party worker should strive not to lose sight of righteousness.

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Hailing from a family of poor farmworkers, Haridas is the lone woman MP from Kerala. She felt that her salary would not be sufficient to purchase a new car.

Haridas had said that many people have offered a car to her, however, she refused them all as they lacked transparency. But in this crowdfunding, the fund is being not collected from outside so the account will be transparent. She also called the funding as a "grand gesture" and was “happy” about the decision which led to widespread criticism on social media.

Alathur unit president of the Youth Congress Palayam Pradeep, wrote on his Facebook post that the crowdfunding is exclusively among Congress workers and not from the public but if anyone wanted to contribute they could.