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25 January, 2006

Ethics' MP uses funds for squash and golf

The Asian Age- India
Chandigarh, Jan. 24: The Congress Party's MP from Chandigarh, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, who as chairman of a parliamentary probe committee recommended the expulsion of MPs found guilty of accepting money for posing questions in Parliament, has several embarrassing skeletons in his own cupboard.
While there is no direct charge of Mr Bansal having actually accepted money from anyone, he appears to have established his own set of definitions of what the word "development" in Member of Parliament Local Area Development (MPLAD) Fund should mean.
Consider the evidence: Rs 5 lakhs sanctioned to the Chandigarh Golf Club for construction of a spanking new squash court for its highly influential and wealthy members. A similar sum to the almost equally posh Chandigarh Golf Association (according to the BJP). And topping the list is Rs 7 lakhs for the Chandigarh Press Club. ...
... former BJP MP from Chandigarh Satya Pal Jain told this newspaper, "I have checked the records and found that he (Mr Bansal) has sanctioned a similarly large sum of money to the Chandigarh Golf Association."
Mr Jain has sought a thorough scrutiny of Mr Bansal's MPLAD spending and has advised him to resign both from the chairmanship of the parliamentary committee he heads, and his membership of the Lok Sabha. "After all, the honourable Speaker, Somnath Chatterjee, has publicly promised to view such matters with extreme strictness. Bansal would do well to leave before he is also expelled like the MPs he helped send home." ...
NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS: Part 1 Part 2 (Courtesy: The Asian Age E-paper)