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Cong alleges Rs 1,500-crore scam in Ujjain Simhastha

The Congress on Sunday alleged a scam of Rs 1,500 crore by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in organising Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain this year and said it was looking at legal options to move Madhya Pradesh High Court for registering criminal cases against the chief minister, his cabinet colleagues and other officials concerned.

bhopal Updated: Dec 05, 2016 10:15 IST
HT Correspondent, Bhopal
Ujjain Simhastha,Shivraj Singh Chouhan,Bala Bachchan
Deputy Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Bala Bachchan (2nd from left), hands over the Ujjain Simhastha fact-finding report to state Congress president Arun Yadav in Bhopal on Sunday. (Mujeeb Faruqui/HT photo)

The Congress on Sunday alleged a scam of Rs 1,500 crore by the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in organising Simhastha Kumbh in Ujjain this year and said it was looking at legal options to move Madhya Pradesh High Court for registering criminal cases against the chief minister, his cabinet colleagues and other officials concerned.

State Congress chief Arun Yadav said a six-member fact finding committee of the party led by deputy Leader of Opposition in the state assembly, Bala Bachchan, has submitted a report on the expenditure made by the BJP government on Ujjain Simhastha in April-May this year.

Yadav said the 60-point report will be handed over to the party’s legal experts. Subsequently, they would move the Madhya Pradesh High Court. “We’ll also seek a CBI probe into the entire matter,” he added.

He said that the copies of the report will also be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), Lok Sabha Speaker and Indore MP Sumitra Mahajan, state Governor OP Kohli and Assembly Speaker Sitasharan Sharma.

The findings will also be distributed across the state in form of booklets “to expose the BJP government”. “We will also raise the issue in the winter session. We know that the state government will once again try to run away from the debate over the issue, like it did in the monsoon session,” he said.

Yadav claimed that in response to questions, the state government recently informed the Lok Sabha, that it spent more than Rs 4,471 crore on Ujjain Simhastha. “However, during Assembly’s monsoon session, the government stated that it had spent just over Rs 2,000 crore. The difference of over `2,450 crore needs to be highlighted before the Lok Sabha Speaker and the Assembly Speaker for suitable action,” he said.

He further added that the chief minister, in his official message on Independence Day this year, had stated that a sum of Rs 3,377 crore was spent on Ujjain Simhastha.

‘Maximum corruption in toilets and bathrooms’

Giving details of the report, Bala Bachchan told media persons that at a time when toilets were being constructed for Rs 12,000 each under Centre’s Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, the MP government hired over 50,000 toilets at rates ranging between Rs 25,000 to Rs 30,000.

Further, the government purchased white petroleum jelly meant for use in winters during the April-May Simhastha for Rs 34 lakh without proper tender process. Similar irregularities were made in purchase of sanitary pads too, alleged Bachchan.

Bachchan also alleged irregularities on various other counts including purchase of clay water urns that were bought for Rs 750 each, despite similar urns being available for just Rs 150. Also, the metallic stand to hold the urns was sourced at Rs 3,999 each despite it being priced at just Rs 2,500 in open market.

First Published: Dec 05, 2016 10:11 IST