Raje's cutouts cost over Rs 20 lakh, says BJP affidavit

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Jaipur : In its affidavit submitted in the Rajasthan High Court, which has sought from the ruling BJP the details of expenditure for the first phase of the ongoing Gaurav Yatra of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, the party has said it spent more than Rs 20 lakh on Raje's cutouts.

In contrast, party chief Amit Shah's cut-outs cost just Rs 30,000, the affidavit said.

The overall expenses for the first phase of the yatra listed in the affidavit, a copy of which is with the IANS, amount to around Rs 1.8 crore.

The total cost of tent houses, including various services amounted to Rs 41.30 lakh. The CM's 'rath'-branding came for over Rs 1.75 lakh. The cost for her big cut-outs is 13.38 lakh and for smaller ones, Rs 5.78 lakh.

The pen drive of songs cost Rs 16,600 while CD of songs amounts to Rs 7920. The car rentals amount to Rs 2.34 lakh.

Raje is on a statewide yatra which was kicked off by BJP chief Amit Shah on August 4. The first phase of the yatra, an 886km stretch, has covered the Udaipur zone (Udaipur rural, Dungarpur, Chittorgarh, Pratapgarh and Banswara).

State Congress vice president Archana Sharma alleged that the estimates seemed on the lower side. "If they show a higher amount, they will be questioned about the source of income," she said.

On BJP President Amit Shah's cut-outs, which cost just Rs 30,000, state BJP chief Madanlal Saini said was unaware about the expenditure. The party's publicity head, who is a former BJP chief Ashok Parnami, did not respond to the IANS query.

The affidavit also mentions that the accounts will be settled after the yatra is over.

A PIL was filed by Vibhuti Bhushan Sharma on Aug 10 questioning the use of government machinery in the Rajasthan Gaurav Yatra being taken out under the leadership of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia.

The court asked BJP to come out with an affidavit on expenses following which the party on Tuesday presented an affidavit in the High Court with details of expenditure made during the yatra.

The court has fixed Aug 25 as the next date of hearing.