New Delhi, Jan 29: BJP MP Varun Gandhi has written a letter to Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to take initiative with regards to making rich members of Parliament forgo their salaries for the remaining term of the 16th Lok Sabha.

The leader said that the voluntary exercise will send a positive message across the nation. He urged the speaker to take moral leadership of the issue.

He further said that if relinquishing salaries was too big an ask, the Speaker must “introduce a fresh narrative focussed on an alternative strategy rather than the current practice of arrogating of salaries at will to ourselves.”

The Times of India reported that Varun Gandhi quoted an ADR report which showed that 132 Lok Sabha MPs had assets more than Rs 10 crore. He said that the average wealth of MPs was Rs 14.61 crore.

He said that inequality in India was rising and the growing divide was detrimental to the country’s democracy. He said that as MPs, it was their duty to be more responsive to country’s social and economic realities.

He demanded that an independent statutory body must be set up to review their salaries. The new system must replace the old in which MPs themselves decide their salaries.

He said the government spends around Rs 2.7 lakh per month per MP. In 2016, Rs 176 crore was spent on MPs of the Lok Sabha, he observed in the letter dated January 24th.