Bhopal: Main opposition Congress on Wednesday
charged the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh with indulging in
large-scale corruption in organising the state`s Foundation
Day function on November 1, and alleged that it paid more than
sanctioned amounts to playback singer Asha Bhosle and actress
Hema Malini for their performances here.
The matter was raised during Question Hour by Arif Aqueel
of Congress who alleged that both Hema and Asha were paid
Rs 64 lakh and Rs 16.70 lakh respectively by the Culture
Department instead of the sanctioned amounts of Rs 35 lakh and
Rs 12 lakh.
Aqueel questioned the authority of any minister to make
payments above the sanctioned amount and also wanted to know
whether Hema was invited in her capacity as BJP leader.
Replying to the charges, Culture Minister Laxmikant
Sharma said the state government has a policy to invite
artists of repute for such events and in the case of Hema
Malini also, similar analogy was applied and not due to the
On the issue of the huge sum, he said besides artists,
the payments were also made for their troupe`s boarding and
lodging and for that necessary permission from the Finance
Department was taken.
The minister said the Foundation Day function was
widely appreciated by one and all and in future also similar
programmes will be organised in the state on such occasions.