A BJP leader who has been receiving reminders from the railways to pay Rs 12.3 lakh for booking a train for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in 2014 has threatened to commit suicide if the party doesn’t foot the bill soon.
Vinod Samaria headed the BJP’s Fatehpur Sikri unit in UP two years ago when the party booked a train to ferry supporters from Agra to Lucknow for the then prime ministerial candidate Modi’s rally. The reservation was made in Samaria’s name.
“The initial booking amount was Rs 18.4 lakh, paid from the party fund. Later, four stoppages were added which took the bill to Rs 30.7 lakh,” said Samaria.
He said he had received three recovery notices for the remaining amount in the past year.
“I am a farmer with limited resources. The initial amount was paid from the party fund and the balance should also be paid from it. But despite repeated requests, party leaders only come up with assurances.”
“I have written to railway minister Suresh Prabhu, state BJP president Laxmikant Bajpai and local leaders, but to no avail. Bajpai first told me the payment would be made by March 31, but now says it will take six months,” he said.
Samaria said he had “no option but to commit suicide” if the party did not clear the dues.
“I assured him that this was the responsibility of the party and he should not worry,” said Bajpai. “Many trains were booked for the rally and payments for all were cleared barring this one in which a dispute came up. We are in correspondence with the railways and whatever settlement is reached, the party will comply with it.”