Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday clarified on the allegations that the Chief Minister's relief fund had been used to send a dance troupe to Bangkok, saying that separate funds existed for the cultural activities apart from drought relief.
"To my surprise, I read in the newspaper today that the same relief fund for drought had been sanctioned for the troupe to perform in Bangkok. I would like to clarify that there are three types of CM funds - one is for droughts, one is for Jalyukt Shivar (water conservation programme) and the third fund out of which 25 percent of the fund is reserved for cultural activities. Out of that 25 percent, we sponsor people for cultural activities," Fadnavis said while addressing a bar council of Maharashtra-Goa state lawyers' conference.
"So 15 of our government servants have been selected for performing at an Art competition in Bangkok, but somehow it has been shown that the 'drought relief fund' has been spent instead," Fadnavis added.
Meanwhile, an RTI filed by activist Anil Galgali found that the chief minister approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employee dance troupe that participated in a competition in Bangkok.
In his RTI, Galgali sought information from the CM Relief Fund desk about the assistance provided by it to the Sachivalaya Gymkhana. In response, the Public Information officer of the CM Relief Fund desk stated that Rs 8 Lakhs was given from the special fund.
The Congress trained their guns on the BJP saying how could Fadnavis shell out the money from the fund when a plague of drought had made the life of the farmers in the state miserable.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on the other hand defended the charges against Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of doling out Rs 8 lakh for a dance troupe to Bangkok from the state relief fund, saying that false allegations against a 'transparent' and fair leader will not be 'tolerated'.
5th Cultural Olympiad of Performing Arts 2015 is being held in Bangkok-Thailand by ABSS's Global Council of Art and Culture.
The grand event of performing arts will be held in "Aksra Theater" in Bangkok City from 26th to 30th December 2015.