A group of activists, including the research team of Anhad, has questioned the blatant use of public money to improve chief minister Narendra Modi’s image through the Sadhbhavna fasts.
Besides the Ahmedabad, the organisation simultaneously held press conferences in 16 other cities of the country to expose the truth behind the CM’s fast as part of its Kachcha Chittha programme, a series of stories exposing the alleged misdeeds of Narendra Modi.
Almost two years after the chief minister carried out his Sadhbhavana fast the government is yet to show the expenses in its budget, said Gautam Thakkar, an activist.
“The chief minister also went about allocating funds to all the districts for development activities during the fast, but our inquiry has revealed that they were merely announcements as none of the districts have received the promised funds,” said Thakkar.
He further added that several schemes that Modi boasted about and showered on the districts were in fact the schemes of local bodies and the central government that were already in progress.
For example in Porbandar, Modi announced a Rs281 crore package for three main projects of a new drinking water supply network, underground sewage pipeline and housing scheme for the poor. All the three projects had been going on for a while as part of the JNNURM.
Mahesh Pandya, another activist, questioned the need to fund the CM’s fast through the contingency funds. “For 12 years no fund was allocated for contingency. Suddenly when the Sadhbhavna fast happened Gujarat government dipped into its contingency fund. Such a fund is used in case of a disaster. What was the need to use it for the Sadhbhavana fast,” said Pandya.
A release by Anhad further stated that the money sanctioned for the CM’s fast, should have been regularized in the budget session in March 2012 when the 2012-13 budget was presented yet there was no mention of the same in the budget.