NEW DELHI: Opposition Congress and NCP today attacked Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over sanction of funds from CM Relief Fund to a dance troupe, demanding his resignation and apology for the "travesty".
"Money meant for relief fund or relief for a particular unforeseen situation is used for all kinds of picadillo in Bangkok. What could be a greater travesty.
"This calls for the resignation of the Chief Minister. The relief fund is administered by the chief minister directly. If money has been misappropriated for a cause for which the money has not been collected, it is a very serious issue. The CM should resign or the opposition parties together must insist on his resignation," Congress leader Manish Tewari said.
The attack came even as the Chief Minister's Office denied any wrongdoing and said that the dance troupe comprising government employees was allocated the funds meant for such activities.
An RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali found that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employees dance troupe to participate in a competition in Bangkok in December. He sanctioned the sum that was transferred to Sachivalaya Gymkhana for the dance contest.
The issue has sparked a row with the opposition questioning the BJP-led government's "priorities" at a time when the state is reeling under severe drought.
"Maharashtra is facing severe drought and thousands of farmers are committing suicide. Thousands of application are pending before CM. People are seeking relief for chronic diseases like cancer and heart attack. He has no time to take the decision to distribute Rs 5000-10,000 to needy people.
"Despite that he diverted this fund to Sachivalaya Gymkhana for foreign tour for their own enjoyment. This cannot be tolerated. He should apologise for his shameful act. The money should be recovered from the people who have enjoyed. If not, Fadnavis should pay from his own pocket," NCP leader Nawab Malik said.
BJP leader Sania NC said leveling "baseless" allegations was wrong.
She said Fadnavis' "fight against corruption, his credibility, his accountability is being talked about all over the country".
She said complete information should be put in public domain.