Bhopal: Around 50,000 people from 33 districts of the state were paid Rs 500 each to attend Tuesday’s function at Amarkantak tomark conclusion of Narmada Seva Yatra at Amarkantak.The aimwas to impress upon chief guest Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The fund was sanctioned under the Information, Education, Communication (IEC)head of Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural). In official documents the rally was passed off as a ‘training programme.’ Documents depicting money allocation for arranging paid gathering for the Modi show are already in public domain.
Earlier, before the rally documents detailing transport department arrangements for ferrying people to and fromAmarkantak too had found its way to media houses. The documents include State Swachh Bharat Mission (Rural) officerAtul Shrivastava’s order issued to CEOs of 33 districts for release of fund. The letter says “allocations should be adjusted against Swachh Bharat fund.” Shrivastava told Free Press that the allocation was made for Prime Minister’s programme at Amarkantak. When asked why it was described as a training programme,he said “motivation is also training”. The amount was released for Agar Malwa, Ashoknagar, Balaghat, Betul, Bhind, Burhanpur, Chhattarpur, Chhindwara, Damoh, Datia, Guna, Gwalior, Indore, Jhabua, Katni, Mandsaur, Morena, Neemuch, Panna, Rajgarh, Ratlam, Rewa, Sagar, Satna, Shajapur, Sheopur, Shivpuri, Sidhi, Singrauli, Tikamgarh, Ujjain and Vidisha districts.
Few days back, Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh had alleged that the state government was doling out Rs 500 per person in a bid to mobilise crowd for the Modi event. The documents have now lent credibility to his allegation. Singh said that the Swachh Mission fund was misused to bring people to Amarkantak. He asked that if it was a government function then why opposition was not invited. He demanded that the amount spent on mobilising the crowd should be realised from the BJP and said that he would lodge a complaint with the Prime Minister against gross misuse of Swachch Bharat fund.