Guwahati: The Assam government Wednesday said it has purchased 60,000 books of the
15-volume biography of RSS ideologue Deendayal Upadhyay worth Rs 1.6 crore for placing them in various libraries and educational institutions.
Opposition Congress, however, slammed the state government's decision as "sheer wastage of public money".
The announcement regarding the purchase of Deendayal Upadhyay's biography was made by Cultural Affairs (Library and Archeology) Minister Keshab Mahanta in the state assembly in a written reply to a query by the Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia.
"The government has supplied the biography of Pandit
Deendayal Upadhyay, containing 60,000 books of 15 volumes, with 4,000 copies each," the minister said.
The Directorate of Libraries spent Rs 1.6 crore for the purchase of the books on the advice of the cultural affairs department, he said.
The books were purchased from New Delhi-based
publisher Prabhat Prakashan, Mahanta said.
"The government has not taken any proposal to purchase
biographies of other persons," he said.
Making a scathing attack at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government over the matter, All India Congress Committee (AICC) Secretary Pradyut Bordoloi told PTI, "This is a sheer wastage of public money. All these books will be lying on library racks in an obscure corner, covered under thick blanket of dust".
He charged the BJP-led governments, including the Centre, of destroying institutions by appointing "ineligible"
persons who were only "Hindutva-minded".
"The people of Assam and North East never heard of
Deendayal Upadhyay. The ideology of Deendayal that RSS and BJP are propagating in North East is completely alien to the region," Bordoloi, a former state minister, said.