An activist on Tuesday cited an RTI reply claiming that the AAP government in Delhi spent Rs 6 crore on its Laxmi Puja event and live telecast on Diwali this year. No reaction was immediately available from the Delhi government or Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
The activist, Saket Gokhale, tweeted the purported RTI reply to his query from Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation. He said, ”Delhi AAP Govt. spent 6 crores (approx $0.8 million) of taxpayer money for the Laxmi Puja event & its live telecast done by @ArvindKejriwal on 14 November, 2020. This whopping cost of 6 crores public money was for a 30-minute puja. Thats 20 lakh rupees per minute.” The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government had appealed Delhiites to refrain from bursting crackers on Diwali in view of high pollution levels and instead urged them to participate in Laxmi Puja on the festival day. The mega event that saw participation by Chief Minister Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues along with their spouses at Akshardham Temple here was telecast live.
Sharing Gokhale’s tweet, Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar trained his guns at Kejriwal accusing the CM of seeking publicity by spending the money at a time when doctors, nurses and health workers were sitting on hunger strike due to non-payment of their salaries.