Times Group media outlets have published reports that have exposed how the newly formed Kumaraswamy government that came to power on the back of an unholy alliance spent huge sums of money in order to host a number of non-BJP chief ministers and other political leaders during Kumaraswamy’s swearing in ceremony. According to RTI details, total of Rs. 42 lakh were spent by the JD(S)-Congress government in Karnataka on hosting the various leaders during the swearing-in ceremony alone. A prominent name featuring in the list of those dignitaries is Arvind Kejriwal who went on an absolute splurge out of Karnataka taxpayers’ money. According to Bangalore Mirror, while Chandrababu Naidu ran a bill of Rs. 8.7 lakhs, Delhi’s very own Aam Aadmi also proved to be very costly for Karnataka’s taxpayers even as he ran a bill of Rs. 1.85 lakh for a single night stay.
As per the reports, Kejriwal checked into the Taj West End on May 23 at 9.49 am and checked out on May 24 at 5.34 am. It was not only his stay at the high end hotel that led to such high costs but also his in-room dining, food/ juices amounting to Rs. 71,025/- as well as beverages worth Rs. 5,000/-. Apparently, all this was ordered within a short window of just 2 hours. One wonders what he ate and drank and the luxuries he enjoyed which led to such exorbitant bills.
However, this has not come as a surprise for the Delhi chief minister who was a staunch critic of the VVIP culture and an anti-corruption crusader during his struggling days has shown his deep love for expensive food in the past as well. In September 2016, it had been reported that 18 months into power, the AAP government in Delhi had already spent Rs. 1 crore on Chai-Samosa and Kerjriwal alone had spent Rs. 47 lakh in such a short span. Furthermore, in April this year an RTI revealed that Arvind Kejriwal’s office had spent more than Rs. 1 crore over tea and snacks within 3 years of his tenure. Last year also, AAP had landed in a soup on account of expensive lunch at the chief minister’s residence with per plate cost exceeding a Rs. 16,000 and Rs. 12,000 on February 11 and February 12. As many as 80 plates had been arranged by the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation (DTTDC).
Kejriwal’s ‘evolution’ has been rather quick from an anti-corruption activist going on hunger strikes to a chief minister of the Aam Aadmi having an insatiable appetite for expensive food. Kejriwal has never really hit back or explained how he developed this sudden penchant for expensive food financed by public/ taxpayers’ money. However, it would be unjustified to focus only on Delhi’s Aam Aadmi. In fact, this was open loot in which several ‘socialist’ leaders indulged in enjoyment of luxuries financed by the Karnataka government. Other prominent politicians include Former UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, BSP supremo Mayawati, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Congress leader Ashok Gehlot, CPM leader Yechury, NCP leader Sharad Pawar, AIMIM chief Owaisi, etc. However, no plausible explanation has come from any of them. But this is sure to go down as yet another example of Kejriwal developing appetite for luxuries on account of public money.