The Madhya Pradesh transport department has demanded over ₹6 crore from the state’s tribal welfare and scheduled caste (SC) department to arrange 2,500 buses for a government-organised to observe Baba Saheb Ambedkar Jayanti to be held on April 16 in Gwalior.
In a letter, SK Jha, state transport commissioner, said, “As many as one lakh participants and followers from eight districts of Gwalior and Chambal division will participate in the programme. 2,500 buses will be required for travel arrangements of one lakh followers. The required fare amount for the buses is evaluated to be ₹6.18 crore.”
In the letter signed on April 6, it has requested to allot 80% i.e. Rs. 4.94 crore of the total estimated required fare amount of ₹6.18 crore, in advance.
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“It was a common practice that is being followed by the transport department to arrange buses for a government programme but the internal order between two departments was leaked deliberately to create controversy,” said a transport department official.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress attacked the (Bharatiya Janata Party) BJP-led state government for gathering crowds for a government-organised function, reportedly to be held for the party workers and leaders.
Hitting out at the BJP, MP Congress Committee spokesperson KK Mishra said the BJP claimed that the party workers and supporters are to join the programme held by the state government, however, the letter from the transport department indicates that the BJP is instead gathering crowds on government funding.
Transport commissioner Jha refused to comment on this.