To vote, legislators to get crores in TA, DA

Hyderabad: While voters exercising their ballot for the general elections for Lok Sabha, Assembly and other local bodies are not paid any Travelling Allowance and Dearness Allowance to reach the polling stations and cast their vote, it is not the same with electors for the Presidential elections. 

As a rule, elected Members of Parliament and Legislative Assemblies will be paid TA and DA to come to polling stations to exercise their franchise. 

In the 2017 Presidential election, the polling day, i.e. July 17, will also mark commencement of the monsoon session of Parliament, hence all the MPs will be paid DA at the rate of  Rs 2,000 per day and flight tickets at the beginning and end of the session for their to and fro journeys from their respective constituencies. 

Since polling day and commencement of the Session is on the same day, there will be no extra financial burden on the Parliament Office to bear, this time around. 

However when it comes to 119 MLAs of Telangana state and 174 MLAs of Andhra Pradesh state (one seat vacant) who are the eligible voters in the Presidential election, they would be paid TA and DA that runs into a couple of crores. 

“As there is no Assembly session convened, as per the practice and rule we will have to pay TA and DA to MLAs coming on that day to cast their vote,” said a senior official in the TS Legislature. 

Each MLA is entitled to DA at the rate of  Rs 800 per day and TA at the rate of  Rs 20 per km of his or her travel for coming from and returning to his or her constituency headquarters. 

“Even if they come for a day, as per rule we have to pay three day’s DA to each MLA,” said the official. The total expenditure would be close to Rs 80 lakh for the Telangana Legislature.

It will be more in the case of the AP Legislative Assembly since it has more Members. Besides, air fare will be given to legislators travelling from Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Tirupati, Kadapa airports to reach Vijayawada. 

“Our expenditure on this count may be around Rs 1.5 crore,” said an official from AP Legislature.

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