Bharatiya Janata Party MP Varun Gandhi has asked Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan to help begin a “movement” to ask rich lawmakers to forego their salaries for the rest of the Lok Sabha term.

In a letter to Mahajan, Gandhi said a voluntary exercise like this “would send a positive message” about the “sensitivity that we possess as elected representatives”, especially when inequality is widening in India, The Times of India reported.

“India’s inequality gap is widening further every day,” he wrote. “A growing divide is detrimental to our democracy and we as public representatives must be seen to be more responsive to the socio-economic realities of our country.”

Gandhi also proposed that the speaker could “introduce a fresh narrative focused on an alternative strategy rather than the current practice of arrogating of salaries at will to ourselves”. In August, Gandhi had questioned the right of parliamentarians to raise their own salaries, saying the repeated demanded for higher pay discredited the “moral compass of the House”.

Gandhi said he was aware that some MPs depend on the salary for their livelihoods, but also pointed out the number of MPs who owned assets worth more than a crore had gone up from 319 in 2009 to 449 in the 16th Lok Sabha, The Indian Express reported.

“My request to you Madam Speaker is to initiate a movement, aimed at the economically advantaged MPs, to forego our remuneration for the remainder of this 16th Lok Sabha,” he said, adding that the government spends Rs 2.7 lakh a month for every MP.

The term of the current lower house ends in May 2019.