BENGALURU: Just the swearing-in ceremonies of the Chief Ministers of Karnataka, held in a span of six days, cost the state exchequer an astounding Rs 59 lakh. The data accessed by an RTI activist shows that while the swearing-in of BJP’s B S Yeddyurappa held at Raj Bhavan on May 17 cost Rs 16,14,750, the high profile swearing-in of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and Dy CM G Parameshwara on May 23 cost Rs 42,89,940.
According to the RTI activist T Narasimha Murthy, the Public Information Officer has not provided the break-up of Kumaraswamy’s swearing-in. As per documents, of the Rs 16.14 lakh spent on the few minutes of swearing-in of Yeddyurappa, flower bouquets cost Rs 21,750. The cost of ‘High Tea’ for the guests, who had participated in what was called a ‘simple’ swearing-in, was Rs 15.93 lakh.
When it comes to the expenses of swearing-in of the incumbent CM and Dy CM on May 23, the cost swelled to Rs 42,89,940. However, the RTI applicant is yet to receive a break up of the expenses incurred by the state. “I had sought a break up of the expenses. Since it was not provided, I have already filed an appeal,” he said.
Criticising the expenses incurred by the State, he said that the State could have rather used the funds to waive off some farm loans than for the extravagant display of swearing-in. Austerity should have started with the swearing-in, he added. It can be recalled that while Yeddyurappa sworn-in hastily at Raj Bhavan, Kumaraswamy had organised a grand event in front of Vidhana Soudha in which AICC leaders Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, NCP president Sharad Pawar, five chief ministers and several leaders of the opposition had participated.