Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's ongoing Jan Ashirvad Yatra to garner votes for the BJP in the coming Assembly election has come under the scanner of the Madhya Pradesh High Court and the Election Commission of India for an alleged misuse of the state government’s funds.
The commission's full bench will take a decision on the Congress's complaint in this matter, according to sources in the state election office here.
In the complaint to the commission on Monday, the Congress has cited a letter by chief municipal officer of a local civic body in Satna to the district collector seeking Rs 6.95 lakh as election expanses for the chief minister's yatra.
The fund was sought to be paid to people in Satna for arranging shamiyanas (tents) for the chief minister's programme in compliance with a Satna district administration order dated July 6, 2018. The chief minister's chariot was in Satna on July 18.
With the letter getting leaked in media, the Satna district collector issued a show-cause notice to the concerned officer, asking why disciplinary action shouldn't be initiated against him.
The Congress' plaint to the commission pointed out that Rajasthan High Court banned Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's Gaurav Yatra owing to the allegations of misuse of government funds.
AICC legal cell convenor Vivek Tankha said it was violation of the EC directive for the chief minister to spend government funds on the programmefor the BJP's promotion.
Earlier, a PWD engineer was suspended by his superiors when the chief minister slipped from the dais of a Jan Ashirvad Yatra programme in Chhatarpur district in July.
The Jan Ashirvad Yatra, which was flagged by BJP national president Amit Shah in Ujjain on July 14, has also been challenged in the Madhya Pradesh high court.
The Gwalior bench of High Court on August 26 had served notices to 11 departmental heads of the Madhya Pradesh government, including the chief secretary, directing them to furnish replies about the expenses being incurred on the ongoing Jan Ashirwad Yatra.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Umesh Bohre for seeking a ban on the yatra, a division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Yadav and A K Joshi also sought replies on the allegations of use of women and children during the chief minister's yatra.
The petitioner has said that each district, which was covered in the chief minister's chariot ride spent Rs 2 crore.