Ujjain: The opening of Vikram Amrit Mahotsav-2018 and the maiden visit of Governor Anandiben Patel have been shrouded with controversies.
Firstly, certain reservations have been expressed by the Government officials over the domination of few local persons in the name of hosting the event. Secondly, the local BJP leadership also took offence to the fact that Governor’s schedule had ignored certain sections of people.
The culture department had been bearing all expenses for the 7-day Vikram Mahotsav since year-2011. It included spending a whopping sum on cultural, academic and literary programmes. Awards carrying attractive cash amounts is also a major area on which the government spends a huge amount. The Government treasury also spends lakhs of rupees on invitation cards, advertisements of all sorts, travelling, lodging and boarding, etc, arrangements.
A senior bureaucrat, who was here during the inaugural function on March 12, told Free Press that considering the significance and popularity of Emperor Vikramaditya’s reign, the Government had started keeping separate budgetary provisions for Vikram Mahotsav, but it was noticed that things had been going haywire.
“Instead of portraying the works and contribution of Emperor Vikramaditya among the masses, some people having vested interests have started converting this coveted event into a monopoly business,” he elaborated.
The official also indicated that arbitraries like inviting supporters in organising committee meetings, awarding contracts to favoured firms and persons, willful selection of performing artists, tipping individuals for awards, etc, were under the scanner and a report on such malpractices would be presented before the Chief Minster soon.
New incumbent Governor Anandiben Patel, who inaugurated this year’s Vikram Mahotsav, also drew flak from public circles as she preferred visiting ‘unscheduled’ places and cancelling ‘scheduled’ programmes. Moreover, a dinner hosted on her behalf at the Circuit House also marred her two-day stay. Hardly two dozen ‘specific’ persons were invited for the Governor’s dinner.
Eyebrows were raised by the BJP bigwigs on prominent persons being ignored to meet the Governor. Most of the peoples’ representatives (MP, MLA, Minister) and civil and police officials were also not invited. Two universities are located in Ujjain, but both vice-chancellors were sidelined everywhere. People complained that not just the Government-sponsored Vikram Mahotsav, but the Governor’s official visit was also used for personal gains.