The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday hit back at former Congress MLC V S Ugrappa for accusing the party of collecting huge funds for Narendra Modi’s rally and installing a mammoth statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Gujarat.
“Let Ugrappa furnish details on the expenditure incurred by the Congress for the recently held ‘thanksgiving’ rally in Mandya which was addressed by party supremo Sonia Gandhi.
He should also explain what happened to `10,000 collected from every Congress ticket aspirant as the application fee during the previous Assembly elections,” BJP spokesperson Ashwathnarayan told reporters.
The Congress had mobilised lakhs of people for the Mandya rally by hiring thousands of buses, the masses were provided lunch and lakhs of laddus were distributed.
Questioning Ugrappa’s credibility to hold a press conference to take potshots at the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, Ashwathnarayan said the Congress leader is presently neither a legislator nor a Congress spokesperson. “KPCC president G Parameshwara should clarify whether he had authorised Ugrappa to hold the press conference or Ugrappa was just shooting his mouth off. Ugrappa has become a refugee in the Congress,” the BJP MLA said.
He also rubbished Ugrappa’s allegation that the BJP is collecting `10,000 crore from corporates in the name of installing the mammoth statue of Patel near Ahmedabad. “Those who make such allegations in public life should be in a position to substantiate the charges,” he said.
However, he turned evasive when questioned about the reports that the BJP is spending over `20 crore for Modi rally. Denying the reports, he said: “In fact this time we are spending less for a rally of such magnitude. We are spending on putting up chairs. We will not be putting up even shamiana for the gathering. Most of the expenses on transport and food is borne by our corporators, legislators and party workers voluntarily.”
He even declined to mention a rough estimate and said: “It cannot be estimated at this stage. We will be in a position to inform about it only about a week after the rally,” he said.