As the 63-year-old debate on whether Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose "died" in a plane crash continues, the Centre has said it has spent a huge amount on observing the "death" anniversary of the revolutionary leader.
This was revealed in a reply to an RTI application by activist Debashish Bhattacharya seeking information on how much money the Government had spent on spreading the message of 38 national leaders, including Mahatma Gandhi and Bose.
In reply to the RTI application, Mattu J P Singh, Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the DAVP, said the Government spent Rs 24 lakh on the advertisements and publicity for the "birthdays and death anniversaries" of Gandhi and Bose during 2007-08.
The reply gave the amounts spent on the "birthdays and death anniversaries" of the two leaders since 2003-04 and a total amount of Rs 95.5 lakh was spent for the purpose in the last five years.
The theory that Bose died in a plane crash in Taiwan on August 18, 1945 has been a matter of controversy as his admirers are yet to believe that he was killed in the accident.
The Mukherjee Commission, set up by Government to probe into the matter, also said in its 2006 report that DNA tests showed that the ashes at Japan's Renkoji temple did not belong to Bose.
The Commission also said Taiwan had informed it that no plane had crashed in the country in 1945.
When contacted, the CPIO, asked to specify when the advertisements for the death anniversary of Bose were put out, said: "We have not bifurcated the amount and we will need time to do that."