The Haryana government allegedly spent Rs 3.80 lakh for printing 10 copies of Bhagavad Gita for the International Gita Mahotsav organised in the state between November 25 and December 3. 2017.
While a normal Bhagavad Gita would cost you around Rs 200-Rs 250, the copies costing around Rs 38,000 each were gifted to VVIPs, including President Ram Nath Kovind, Union minister Uma Bharti and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
The Haryana government's alleged expenditure came to light after a man named Rahul Sehrawat from Hisar received inputs of expenses from the Kurukshetra Development Board (KDB) under the RTI Act.
Sehrawat has also alleged that while the total sum of expenditure for the mega event was over Rs 13 crore, the KDB has shared details of only Rs 4 crore.
Sehrawat is now about to file an appeal in order to unearth the details of other expenses.
Expensive printing material used
Going by the reply to the RTI, one Tanvi Stationers were paid Rs 3.8 lakh to print the copies of Bhagavad Gita which were specially designed and wrapped using special glossy paper — which also gave it a look of an ancient manuscript.
Haryana CM: This will continue in future
According to the Times of India, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has claimed that the expenses for Gita Mahotsav were made after many talks and that this would continue in future, as it is in the larger interest of the society.
"The money was spent on creating awareness in society and was needed in the larger interest of society," the CM said.
The state government had also invited BJP MP Hema Malini and Delhi BJP president and actor Manoj Tiwari to perform at the event for which they were paid Rs 25 lakh.
Opposition's dig at BJP in Haryana
The opposition, meanwhile, has taken a dig at the saffron party and termed Khattar government's expenditure to be a sheer waste of taxpayers' money.
Slamming the Haryana government, former CM Bhupinder Singh Hooda said, "I hope the government has not used gold in preparing the copies." The claimed that the current government is an event management company, which isn't bothered of any development and is only misusing public funds on its own agenda.
While Khattar seems to be pretty confident of his move in spending lakhs over just 10 copies of the Bhagavad Gita, a senior Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader has said, "The RTI information itself is sufficient to prove grave misuse of public money. Hope the CM would conduct a fair probe into such misappropriation of public money."