Sunday, October 18, 2009

Karnataka spends Rs 1cr on one Cabinet meet

Austerity wasn't quite the political rage a year ago, but even by easier standards this was rather extravagant. On September 26 last year, the state BJP government chose to make a big show of its concern for north Karnataka and decided to hold a cabinet meeting in this city. Guess what they ended up doing? Spend Rs 28 lakh on decoration alone — most of it on flowers. A glimpse of this floral tribute to north Karnataka (rather, to the notables of Yeddyurappa government notables) emerged from an RTI query put by TOI under the Right to Information Act. The decoration expenditure included putting up many buntings and welcome arches for 34 ministers, their secretaries and staff, who had taken the trouble of travelling 623 km from Bangalore. The total expenditure for this one meeting was a shade lower than Rs 1 crore — Rs 92.39 lakh. The meeting was touted as a move to impart confidence to the people of north Karnataka regions, who had felt neglected by previous governments, that this government cared. So, no effort, human and financial, was spared to hold it.

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