Modi's 'Sadbhavna' fast expenses complaint before Lokayukta

Written by PTI | Ahmedabad | Updated: Apr 30 2014, 03:34am hrs
On the eve of elections to Gujarat's 26 Lok Sabha seats, a city-based advocate filed a complaint here today against BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi before the Lokayukta, alleging misuse of public money for organising his 'Sadbhavna' fast.

"The Chief Minister organised a 'Sadbhavna' event from September 17 to September 19, 2011 in Ahmedabad which was given wide media publicity, for which crores of rupees were spent by the Gujarat state government," complainant K M Paul said.

Alleging misuse of government machinery, the complainant said the public did not benefit in any manner.

"The state government had utilised services of the police, administrative force, transportation, infrastructure and expenses to lodge thousands of people who visited the event after coming from throughout the country," Paul alleged.

Modi, Gujarat Chief Minister, had started his three-day fast in September, 2011, under his 'Sadbhavna' mission for peace, unity and harmony, which was seen as an attempt to reach out to the minority community.

This is the first ever complaint filed before Gujarat Lokayukta, headed by retired Justice D P Buch, seeking action agianst Modi and other officials for the 'Sadbhavna' fast.

Referring a local newspaper report, the complainant alleged that to publicise the 'Sadbhavna' event, Rs 50 crores were spent from public exchequer.

The complainant also mentioned that he tried to get expenditure details through an RTI query but Gujarat state authorities did not yield.

Seeking expenditure details of Modi's 'Sadbhavna' fast, he has asked the Lokayukta to "probe and punish erring officers in accordance with the law".

Asked about the matter, Lokayukta Justice D P Buch said "this is confidential. All proceedings or any appeals are confidential".

Earlier this month, the complainant had approached the Gujarat High Court seeking details of Modi's expenditure but withdrew the plea later with a liberty to file it again at before an appropriate forum.