Rs 16,000 for pen drive, Rs 63,000 on mufflers: How BJP spent over Rs 1 crore on Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra
The Rajasthan high court had directed the BJP’s state unit to respond to a petition, which alleged the state government machinery was being misused for Vasundhara Raje’s yatra.Updated: Aug 22, 2018, 15:35 IST
The Bharatiya Janata Party has spent more than Rs 1 crore on Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje’s Gaurav Yatra from August 4 to 10, which covered 23 assembly constituencies in the state’s Udaipur division, so far.
The saffron party informed the Rajasthan High Court about the details of the amount spent on the yatra on Tuesday during a hearing on a public interest litigation filed by a lawyer on August 6.
The high court had directed the BJP’s state unit on August 10 to respond to the petition, which alleged the state government machinery was being misused for Raje’s yatra, and directed its president Madanlal Saini to file an affidavit on the expenditure incurred by the party.
The Hindustan Times has accessed the copy of the affidavit that shows the BJP has spent about Rs 1.10 crore on the Gaurav Yatra so far. It paid Rs 41.30 lakh for tent houses, Rs 38.98 lakh for publicity, including banners and cut-outs among other things, and Rs 25.99 lakh for advertisements.
The party has said it has spent Rs 16,000 on pen drives used to play songs during Raje’s Gaurav Yatra and about Rs 3.50 lakh on composing them. The “half-cap” donned by the party workers cost the BJP Rs 32,568, masks about Rs 20,000 and saffron and green mufflers Rs 63,000.
It spent about Rs 26,000 on stickers, Rs 1.17 lakh on flags, Rs 91,000 on hand cut-outs and Rs 13.38 lakh on “big cut-outs.”
The BJP spent Rs 1.75 lakh on the branding of the chief minister’s rath (bus) that has been fitted with an elevator and a sunroof that allows Raje to address the public from the roof of the bus. The party paid Rs 1.40 lakh for petrol and diesel and food for the entourage during the seven-day yatra.
The affidavit filed by Saini’s counsel, Vishnu Kant Sharma, said the Gaurav Yatra was the part of the party’s programme for which the entire expenditure is being borne by the state unit of the BJP and the chief minister cannot be prevented from discharging her duties during the yatra.
“We will try to recycle as much as we can, but the problem is that most cut-outs are removed by people taking part in the rally so we have to spend on it again. The half-caps and masks made up of cardboard get damaged and it’s also very difficult to keep the small flags intact,” a BJP leader said requesting anonymity.
Raje will begin the second leg of her yatra from Jaisalmer on August 24, which will be held from till September 2. The yatra that will pass through 165 constituencies travelling about 6,000 km is scheduled to conclude on September 30.