BALASORE: The Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha constituency has been deprived of Local Area Development (LAD) funds for the last two years of the 16th Lok Sabha. The constituency was supposed to get `10 crore during the period, but not a single paisa has been allocated.
Reason: The elected MP Rama Chandra Hansdah is behind bars for his alleged involvement in the multi-crore ponzi scam.
After Hansdah was elected with BJD ticket from the reserved seat in 2014, `2.5 crore was sanctioned by the Centre as the LAD fund in the first phase. Since then, no allotment for the second phase was received by the district administration as it failed to submit the utilisation certificates (UCs).
As per LAD guidelines, the elected MP has to recommend projects for his constituency, which would be implemented by the district administration. A Lok Sabha constituency is entitled to get `25 crore during the five-year tenure. However, Hansdah failed to recommend the projects as he was arrested by the CBI on November 4, 2014, for his alleged involvement in ponzi firm, Nabadiganta Capital Services.
Hansdah, a BTech engineer and an alumnus of the then Regional Engineering College (now NIT, Rourkela) had defeated Nepole Raghu Murmu of BJP by a margin of 1,22,866 votes. He was earlier a legislator from Saraskana Assembly constituency of Mayurbhanj district before being elected to the Lok Sabha.
In July this year, the CBI had recovered `28 lakh from house of Hansdah, first time MP and the then secretary of the BJD parliamentary party in Lok Sabha.
Hansdah, the founder director of the chit fund company, had initially claimed that it was his own money but later changed his stand and said the money belonged to his supporters.
The Orissa High Court had on March 19 last year allowed the MP, who is currently lodged in Jharpada jail in Bhubaneswar, to attend one working day of Parliament under the custody of CBI to retain his membership.
Meanwhile, resentment is brewing among people for non-utilisation of the LAD fund. Demanding Hansdah’s resignation, senior BJP leader Rajkishore Das said he is playing with the emotion of people who elected him as an MP of the district. “He should resign and a by-election be held so that the newly elected can utilise the funds,” he said.
District Planning Officer Sushanta Khuntia said as per the guidelines, an MP can still recommend projects even remaining behind bars.