Punjab govt spent lakhs to appease AAP leadership before they formed govt in Punjab
Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in
Aam admi party’s (AAP) “Dhanwad Yatra” under the command of party supremo Arvind Kejriwal at Amritsar on March 13, 2022 for party’s clandestine victory in Punjab assembly elections has burnt the hole in Punjab government’s exchequer with 14.63 lakhs. This figure does not include the amount spent by the transport department to ferry the AAP worker from all over the Punjab to the rally venue, without charging any fare.
After the assembly elections results, Bhagwant Mann was elected leader of the legislature party by the newly-elected MLAs on March 11. Mann took the oath of office and secrecy at the swearing-in ceremony at Khatkar Kalan in Shaheed Bhagat Singh Nagar district on March 16.
“When the Vijay yatra was organized on March 13,2022, Bhagwant Mann was yet to take oath as the chief minister. But, the state government paid all the bills amounting to Rs 14.63 for AAP national convener and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and CM-elect Bhagwant Mann’s grand road show at Amritsar ” said RTI activist Manik Goyal, who had filed the application for information on expenditure incurred on the event.
According to the RTI reply, the district administration of Amritsar had received a total of 19 bills for the party’s victory march and it paid Rs.14,63,129.
From honouring its senior leaders with gold-plated swords to arranging their accommodation in five-star hotels and decorating roads with flowers, the Punjab government, reeling under a fund crunch, spent Rs.14.63 lakh on the Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) victory march in Amritsar. The Amritsar district administration paid Rs.1,51,851 to clear four bills of Taj Swarna, a five-star hotel, Rs. 4,83,800 for decorating roads with fresh flowers, Rs. 75,000 for preparing the welcome gate, Rs.5,56,424for arranging tents and chairs, Rs.29,500 to drummers, Rs.16,800 for bouquets of roses, Rs.18,000 for purchasing phulkaris, Rs. 34,000 for buying four gold-plated swords,Rs.45,398 for installing flex boards, Rs.17,500 to videographers and photographers, Rs 9,856 for confectionery arrangements, Rs. 3,398 for welcome flex etc according to information received under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Punjab govt spent lakhs to appease AAP leadership before they formed govt in Punjab.The payment of these were made by different departments of Amritsar district namely by secretary Red Cross society, municipal corporation, sub- registrar, deputy director horticulture, assistant commissioner (general), tehsil office, executive engineer PWD etc.
On this congress leader Partap Singh Bajwa said “Official revelation of expenditure of Rs.14.63 lakhs incurred on 13 March,2022 on the arrangements of Vijay Yatra by Aam Aadmi Party, on Government’s account even before administration of the oath of office on 17th March, 2022, exposes the hollowness of its much touted claims of honesty as well as the extent of undue pressure on the officialdom.”