Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has warned Prime Minister Gilani, through a letter, to drop the project of parliament lodges, estimated to cost a staggering amount of Rs 3 billion. The PML-N leader has rightly criticised it as extravagant, questioning its need at a time of growing impoverishment of the people. It is outrageous, as he put it, that the government should be spending so much money on its own luxuries, shamelessly ignoring the flood victims who stand deprived of their homes. There are other schemes besides, that have been shelved apparently because the government said it had not enough funds. Besides, it is alleged that the contract for the lodges construction has been given to a close friend of the PM. It does not behove him to oblige personal friends with projects that are a huge drain on the national kitty. Such a lavish expenditure also flies in the face of PML-Ns 10-points which make it binding on the federal government to adopt austerity measures. Hence the idea for lodges suggests that under the veneer of sincerity and commitment to the charter of demands designed to clean up its act within 45 days, the government is only trying to hoodwink the public. There are no two opinions that the peoples lives could improve if brutal pilferage of state resources is stopped and instead the governments purse is used for the welfare of the common man who is facing wide-ranging problems, from energy shortage to unchecked price hike. Most importantly, it is common knowledge that our parliamentarians, except for a few, come from feudal and business background and are immensely rich. While a number of them have their private residences in the federal capital, others prefer 5 star hotels for their stay. It is for this reason that MNA hostel and lodges are inhibited by outsiders, some of whom are friends and cronies of MNAs. That makes the construction of more accommodation all the more questionable. While the hapless masses do not even have a roof above their heads, it is shameful that such a huge amount is being wasted to construct luxury suites for the people who are already living off the fat of the land. Couldnt the PPP have done well to set up a town for the flood victims or for the people who are seen sleeping at footpaths? It appears the leaders have forgotten their basic pledge of providing food, shelter and clothing to the masses.