Jaipur, Feb 24 (PTI) A day after the opposition BJP decided that its MLAs will return iPhones gifted to them by the Rajasthan government, the Congress on Thursday said the saffron party legislators should also return all such items received by them till now.
All the 200 MLAs of the Rajasthan assembly were given iPhone 13 by the government on Wednesday after the presentation of the state budget. BJP MLAs too received the mobile phones but later decided to return them, saying it was a burden on the state exchequer.
“It (giving mobiles as a gift) is not a serious issue but if they (BJP MLAs) have decided to return the phones, they should also then return the flats and iPads which they received in the past,” deputy chief whip Mahendra Chaudhary told reporters.
Congress MLA Krishna Poonia questioned why the BJP legislators now view the “gift” a financial burden when they accepted such things in the past.
“They (BJP MLAs) happily accepted phones yesterday, but decided to return later. They should not have accepted the gift (on Wednesday itself). Only because they couldn’t criticise the budget, they are creating an issue,” she said.
BJP state president Satish Poonia said the decision to return the phones was taken after discussion with leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria and deputy leader of opposition Rajendra Rathore.
“The phones will be returned,” he asserted.
“We (MLAs) will return the gift as per the decision of the party,” BJP state spokesperson and MLA Ram Lal Sharma said.
The BJP has 71 MLAs in the house of 200.
After the chief minister presented the budget and the house was adjourned for the day, all the MLAs were given a briefcase containing iPhone 13. One phone costs over Rs 70,000.
Ayush Bhardwaj, Youth Congress state general secretary, accused the BJP of adopting double standards and said it was creating an issue because it could not say anything against the budget presented by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot in the assembly on Wednesday. PTI SDA AQS AQS
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Source: The Print