The Kamal Nath government of Madhya Pradesh collapsed last month, after the exit of the then senior Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia, who later joined the BJP, resulting in MLAs supportive of him resigning from the state assembly, hence paving the way for Shivraj Singh Chouhan to assume the Chief Minister’s office for a fourth term.
Congress and corruption are synonymous terms, hence, it was only but expected that Chouhan would undo all the shady deals which the Kamal Nath government had undertaken during its short tenure.
Among them, the Times of India has now reported that a large sum of Rs. 700 crore, which was earmarked for the IIFA 2020 Awards gala has been transferred to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund for fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
Announcing the same via video conference, Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “The IIFA event was planned as a big event in the state, however, in the present situation, the amount to be spent on the mega ceremony will be transferred to the CM’s Relief Fund for COVID-19 assistance.”
Although the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards are a private event, it is worthy to mention that the previous Kamal Nath led Congress government had planned to organise IIFA ceremonies in the state, presumably at the cost of the state exchequer. As a result, Rs 700 crore was earmarked for the event, on the premise of it projecting the state to far corners of the world.
IIFA 2020 had a month ago put out a public statement announcing that the event to be held at Bhopal and Indore would be postponed, in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in the country. “IIFA is fully committed to hosting IIFA2020 in Madhya Pradesh at a later date and fresh plans will be announced at the earliest,” the statement read.
Apart from preventing a colossal misuse of state funds for a private gala event, the BJP government of Madhya Pradesh has also undone the Kamal Nath government’s ploy to push the ‘Jan Abhiyan Parishad’ into nonexistence, reported The Indian Express. The JAP used to serve as a bridge between the government and NGO’s, until the Kamal Nath government stopped paying heed to the organization, on grounds that its members were sympathetic to the BJP and RSS.
Noting that JAP’s activities had stopped in the past one-and-a-half years, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Friday instructed District Administration’s that the organisation should be actively involved in providing relief to people suffering due to the COVID-19 outbreak. JAP functions under the Department of Planning, Economics and Statistics.
Many questions have been raised as to why a large sum of Rs. 700 crore was set aside for the IIFA 2020 Awards by the previous Congress government. Obviously, the state government and the Congress party would have benefitted tremendously from the earmarked amount, as only a fool would believe that the entirety of funds would be put into use for the event.
Madhya Pradesh has reported 243 positive cases of COVID-19 so far, with 16 deaths. 18 districts are affected by the pandemic, out of which Bhopal, Indore and Ujjain have completed been sealed, while work is on to seal the remaining 15 districts completely as well. In such circumstances, the 700 crore rupees sum comes as a blessing for the state to combat the Chinese virus.