MP govt spent over Rs 17 lakh on accommodation of VVIPs

The money was spent during the stay of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, his ministers including Ajay Vishnoi, Kailash Vijaywargiya and Narottam Mishra, former Governor Balram Jakhar, Lokayukta and Judges of High Court among others between April 2006 and March 2009.

The matter came to light after a social activist Ajay Dubey filed an RTI application requesting the General Administration Department of the state government to furnish details of the expenditure borne by it as tariffs for hotels and private establishments and for food in Delhi.

The Government has spent a total of Rs 8,20,611 -- Rs 2,98,342 during the fiscal ending March 2007, Rs 2,23,652 ending March 2008 and Rs 2,98,617 ending March 2009 -- as reimbursement for lunch and dinner charges of dignitaries in the national capital, the RTI reply said.

The State government spent Rs 74,000 in paying the accommodation bill of former Deputy Speaker H L Raghuvanshi, Rs 25,275 for Justice P K Jaiswal of Madhya Pradesh High Court, Rs 12,000 for footing the bill of Harbans Singh, Deputy Speaker in the Assembly and Rs 16,850 for Jagdish Dewra during April 2008 and March 2009, it said.

"Most of the dignitaries have flouted the guidelines by the government. Especially, Madhya Pradesh High Court Judges are not entitled to stay in expensive hotels. They have attended private functions and carried out their personal work on people's money," Dubey alleged.

The Government has spent a total of Rs 9,70,541 -- Rs 40,757 during fiscal ending March 2007, Rs 5,65,500 during fiscal ending March 2008 and Rs 3,64,284 during fiscal ending March 2009 -- in reimbursing the accommodation charges in the national capital, it said.

The expenditure included Rs 15,850 paid as accommodation charges for Gauri Shankar Bisen, Public Health Engineering minister, Rs 8,425 each for Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Gopal Bhargav and Technical Education and Training Minister Archana Chitnis and Rs 7,582 for Food and Civil Supplies Minister Paras Jain between April 2008 and March 2009, it said.

The state also spent Rs 15,165 in paying accommodation expenses for Justice P K Jaiswal and R Menon, Judge, Madhya Pradesh high Court.

"There is Madhya Pradesh Bhawan in the national capital for the accommodation of state dignitaries. Despite that, many VVIPs including ministers and secretaries have stayed in private hotels," Dubey said.

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