Simhastha Maha Kumbh-2016, the month-long once-in-12-year religious congregation in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh has been marred with controversies. The ruling BJP govt has been facing allegations of spending ₹150 crore on buying pitchers, ₹150 crore on planting grass along dividers and the cost of food being ₹1625 per plate as it passed a budget of over 14,000 crores in the supplementary budget session.
The Congress party attacked the ruling Shivraj Singh Chouhan government on charges of diverting the funds to advertising the Kumbh rather than spending on the management of events. While discussing the supplementary budget, Congress had asked for the presentation of white paper and an inquiry over the alleged corruption charges. 18 Congress legislatures while demanding a probe pointed out to the inflated costs of trivial commodities and said that “a thermos was purchased by the government for ₹14,000 and earthen pitchers which carry a cost of ₹100 per ptcher were purchased at ₹800 per pitcher,” hinting at possibility of money being siphoned off.
The unequal allocation of funds between districts was also an issue and the decision of proving contract to blacklisted companies also spelled trouble for the BJP government. The money involved in construction of toilets was also debated upon as Congress alleged that a blacklisted company was given the responsibility of presiding work worth ₹117 crores. And 40% of the 35,000 toilets were yet under construction. The BJP refuted the allegations and said that the works has been done on time and the allegation were “baseless.”