MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government has sanctioned Rs 22.83 lakh for the purchase of an official vehicle for state minister Varsha Gaikwad, drawing flak from the opposition BJP, which questioned the Shiv Sena-led dispensation over its priorities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Government Resolution (GR) issued on July 3 said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and the vehicle review committee of the state finance department approved the proposal to purchase a seven-seater multi-utility vehicle for Gaikwad, who is the Education Minister, as a special case.
The total amount of Rs 22,83,086 for the vehicle includes the vehicle cost, GST, registration charges and accessories, it said.
Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Devendra Fadnavis, however, questioned the government's move.
"How can purchasing vehicles for ministers be the priority of the government in the present scenario?" he asked.
He was talking to reporters in Navi Mumbai in response to a query on proposal of purchasing new vehicles for some ministers.
"Buying vehicles cannot be the priority of the government at a time when it is allegedly deferring salaries of employees including health workers due to the COVID-19 crisis," he said.
"In such a situation, vehicles are being purchased. So, this leads to a question- 'what is the government's priority'. In such a situation, the chief minister and finance minister should follow strict policy," he said.