Rawat govt misappropriated disaster relief funds: BJP leader

Rawat govt misappropriated disaster relief funds: BJP leader

A BJP leader and RTI activist today accused the Harish Rawat government of paying Rs 47.19 lakh out of disaster relief funds to a firm, in which singer Kailash Kher has a stake, for a tourism video featuring cricketer Virat Kohli.

Citing information procured under the RTI, Ajendra Ajay said Rs 47,19,120 was paid to Kailasa Entertainment Pvt Ltd for a 60-second audio-visual clip with the cricketer in which he is seen promoting tourist destinations in the state.

"The payment was made in June 2015 out of funds meant for reconstruction and rehabilitation work in areas devastated by the June 2013 disaster," the BJP leader told PTI.

Though meant for Kohli, the payment was made through Kailasa entertainment Pvt ltd, he claimed. Accusing the Harish Rawat government of misappropriating funds meant for disaster victims, Ajendra said the chief minister had no right to complain of dearth of funds for which he often held the Centre responsible.

The diverted funds had been released by the Uttarakhand State Disaster Management Authority, he claimed. Reacting to this, Rawat's media advisor Surendra Kumar said nothing had been done illegally and there was no wrong in chosing an eminent personality to promote tourism destinations in the state.

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