The Congress on Monday alleged a “scam worth crores” by the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh in organising Simhastha Kumbh Mela and demanded a High Court-monitored probe.
However, the BJP has rejected as “baseless” the charges by Congress, which it said does not have any substantial issue against the “popular government”.
“Scam worth crores (of rupees) took place in organisation of Simhastha mela at Ujjain in which the State government spent Rs 5,500 crore. We demand a high-level probe under the monitoring of the High Court,” Congress State unit president Arun Yadav told reporters on the opening day of the Monsoon Session of the State Assembly.
The Congress members have submitted as many as 87 questions related to Kumbh before the House, he said.
The Simhastha Kumbh, a massive Hindu congregation, organised once in 12 years, was held on the banks of Kshipra river in Ujjain in April-May this year.
Mr Yadav alleged: “A pitcher which is available in market for Rs 150 was purchased at an highly inflated rate of Rs 750 per unit. The government had spent Rs 7 crore alone on this account (for purchasing pitchers). Similarly, for providing medical facilities to devotees, relevant items including gloves, glucometer with strips, X-ray film, urine analyser etc were purchased for Rs 60 crore while their actual cost should not be more than Rs 5 crore as per the government rate,” he added.
The Congress leader claimed that the State government spent Rs 127 crore on “Vaicharik Kumbh” during the Kumbh mela in order “to make Prime Minister Narendra Modi happy”.
A string of dignitaries from various fields, including Mr Modi, had addressed the ‘Vaicharik Kumbh’ -- a gathering of religious and political leaders to discuss various issues concerning people and society.
“In order to turn a religious event into a BJP event, the ruling government had spent Rs 600 crore alone in organising welcome events and branding of (Chief Minister Shivraj Singh) Chouhan at airports, stations and other places in the country and also abroad,” Mr Yadav said.
Rejecting the charges, State BJP spokesperson Deepak Vijaywargiya said: “The Congress has become politically bankrupt and in the absence of any issues against the popular BJP government, the party leaders are levelling baseless allegations that have no substance. In the past also they have made such allegations but people have given them befitting reply on a number of occasions.” - PTI