New Delhi: It looks like our political class has gone all out to indulge themselves.
The seven-minute long swearing-in ceremony of Karnataka chief minister has reportedly cost the state government exchequer a whopping Rs 42 lakh. The figure was revealed in an RTI reply accessed by an activist.
A report in Bangalore Mirror has revealed that, Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, ran up a bill of Rs 8,72,485 for a one-day stay at the Taj West End hotel in Bengaluru when he visited Bengaluru to attend the swearing-in of H.D. Kumaraswamy,
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, during his one-day visit, reportedly ran up a bill of Rs 71,025 on in-room dining, in addition to a bill of Rs 5,000 on beverages. “Those mind-boggling figures make us wonder out aloud, what did he eat and drink?” the report observes. Movie star-turned-politician Kamal Haasan was reportedly charged Rs 1,02,040 for his stay at the Taj West End.
The report says that as per documents available with the publication, there was no expenditure on accommodating guests during the swearing-in ceremonies of former chief ministers Siddaramaiah (in 2013) and B.S. Yeddyurappa (in 2018) by the State Hospitality Organisation, Government of Karnataka.
However, the State Hospitality Organisation has spent Rs 37,53,536 to provide accommodation and food at two five star hotels – Taj West End and Shangri La – on May 23 and 24 (Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in) and Rs 4,35,001 on hi-tea buffet organised at Vidhana Soudha Banquet Hall on May 23. The tea and snacks were supplied by Taj West End, Bengaluru, the Bangalore Mirror report says.
Reports of such lavish spending have evoked strong reaction from prominent citizens in the Capital, including former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde.
Freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy was quoted as saying, “The dignitaries should have thought twice before wasting money. They should have realised that they are not supposed to feast on others’ money. It is very unfortunate that neither the invitees nor their hosts thought of utilising the tax-payers’ money prudently,” says Doreswamy.