A Bhopal-based artist Anup Dey, famous across the state for creating life-size idols of Goddess Durga during the Navratri, has accused the BJP officials of not making the full payment for a 40-feet Bharat Mata idol he made for them during Simhastha Khumbh.
“Initially, I was asked to make a 51-feet idol of Bharat Mata. But due to shortage of time, they asked me to reduce the size to 40-feet. The amount promised was 4 lakh. With the help of my workers, I managed to make it in 18 days. Later, they asked me to increase the size of the lotus flower beneath the idol. I did that too and told them they would have to pay more for the extra work, as my helpers had cancelled their other commitments. Besides, I had put in my own money for the extra raw material. The final cost came to 6,05,000. I gave the cost details to the officials, but they paid me only `4 lakh and that too, after much denial and delay,” he said.
Tapan Bhowmik, chairman, Madhya Pradesh Tourism (MPT), who had recommended Dey’s name to the BJP workers, said, “As far as I remember, the agreed amount was `4 lakh and that has been given to him.”
Dey, who is 60 years, also represents the country in the international athletic events in the masters (veteran) category.
As a young athlete, he wanted to represent India in sports but couldn’t fulfill his dreams. So he took to his other passion — idol making — and made money from it and now frequently represents the country in the international athletic events.
Dey participates in 200m, 400m and 800m races and marathons too. Till now, he has visited Malaysia, China, Brazil and Japan to participate in the athletics events.