Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh government spent over Rs 2 crore for a public meeting addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to mark the completion of its first year in office, the assembly was informed on Thursday.
In a written reply, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said approximately Rs 2.31 crore was spent by the state on ‘Jan Abhar’ rally on December 27, 2018.
Replying to a question by Congress member Jagat Singh Negi, he said 441 government buses and 63 private buses were hired for the rally. However, no school bus was hired for it, he added.
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Aghnihotri has been repeatedly alleging that the cash-strapped government has misused official machinery for Modi’s rally.
“The state government of and on has been using official helicopters for ferrying top BJP central leadership, which is a gross misuse of resources,” Agnihotri told IANS.
According to him, the state is under a debt of over Rs 50,000 crore and they are meeting their day-to-day expenditure by raising loans.
Officials said nearly 100,000 people attended Modi’s rally in Dharamsala towm, some 250 km from the state capital.
At the rally, Modi said those who were in the habit of looting money were now afraid of the country’s ‘chowkidar’. Like the soldiers earlier, the Congress “is now befooling the farmers”, he said.
In his nearly one hour-long address in Hindi at the rally, he said his government has given Rs 12,000 crore to soldiers in four instalments under the One Rank, One Pension scheme. He had also compared the financial incentives his government has extended to the state with those of the previous United Progressive Alliance government.