Kerala

₹1 cr. for accommodation, food of LKS

Assembly answer reveals ₹2,000 per plate lunches for delegates

A recent revelation in the Assembly that the government had offered ₹2,000 per plate lunches to delegates of the Lok Kerala Sabha (LKS) caused the Opposition to cry foul on Monday.

Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee president Mullappally Ramachandran said the extravagance with public funds was shocking. The government had spent ₹1 crore for accommodation and food alone when the State was reeling under a severe financial crisis. The government had contracted a super expensive multi-star hotel to cater to the delegates. The LKS participants were mostly wealthy people and it had no ordinary non-resident Keralite (NoRKs) as invitee.

The Opposition had boycotted the LKS in January on the ground that the flagship programme of the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government, aimed at harnessing the wealth and expertise of NoRKs for the State’s development, was a futile spectacle.

‘White elephant’

It had alleged that the LKS was a white elephant. The cash-strapped government had splurged crores to refurbish the Sankara Narayanan Thampi Hall in the Assembly complex to host the second meeting of the nominated body. The Opposition had earlier charged that the LKS had not met any of its stated aims. After its inception in 2018, at least two NoRK investors had committed suicide after they sunk their life’s savings into projects hobbled by administrative red tape and high-handedness and corruption of Left party office-bearers.

Seeks probe

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said the government had splurged on the spectacle when the State faced an unprecedented fiscal crisis. The government had squeezed the payment of bills to government contractors and beneficiaries of welfare schemes. However, the LKS appeared well-funded. He sought an inquiry into the corruption and profligacy.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 2:29:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/1-cr-for-accommodation-food-of-lks/article30845763.ece

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