Kumbh issue: a major agenda
Whether it is a Congress rally, Team Anna’s appeal or VHP’s election campaign, everyone seems to be encashing on the issue of misuse of funds by the ruling BJP government during Kumbh mela, a mega event of Haridwar in which people from 140 countries participated. Radhika Nagrath reports.india Updated: Jan 24, 2012 14:22 IST
Once again the Mahakumbh scam 2010 is the buzzword in election campaigns of political parties. Whether it is a Congress rally, Team Anna’s appeal or VHP’s election campaign, everyone seems to be encashing on the issue of misuse of funds by the ruling BJP government during Kumbh mela, a mega event of Haridwar in which people from 140 countries participated.
Irregularities in the expenditure of funds to the tune of Rs 200 crore figure at every forum these days. The issue has affected Madan Kaushik, contesting on Haridwar city seat, the most.
In its report, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) had pulled up the Uttarakhand government for “wasteful, avoidable and unauthorised” expenditure of R223 crore in the Mahakumbh Mela of 2010.
On account of this, the BJP had replaced the then chief minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank with BC Khanduri.
During her recent rally, Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi alleged that the state government misused funds for Mahakumbh in Haridwar. Union minister Harish Rawat demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Speaking to HT, Congress candidate from Haridwar seat Satpal Brahmchari said, “Nearly R600 crore were granted by the Centre for the Mahakumbh mela in Haridwar and the CAG report has cited irregularities in the expenditure of funds to the tune of over R200 crore. The matter needs a CBI probe and it has hurt the sentiments of religious people.”
Team Anna’s key members Arvind Kejariwal and Kumar Vishwas too highlighted this scam in their election campaign which began on Saturday. Kejriwal said that the culprits needed to be punished for which people should raise a strong voice. The people must teach a lesson to the government by voting out the corrupt, he said.
Representative of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Virendra Kirtipal is another person who is raising the issue strongly. This has put BJP candidate Madan Kaushik in a tight position, say political gurus.
First Published: Jan 24, 2012 14:19 IST