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Health Mission funds being diverted to host PM public meeting, says Congress

BHOPAL: The state Congress on Friday alleged that the ruling BJP is diverting funds from developmental and welfare schemes to organise the Prime Minister’s public meeting at Amarkantak on Monday. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in the presence of an august delegation, will address a large gathering during the valedictory function of the Narmada Seva Yatra.

However, the Congress claims that the funding of the valedictory function is being done by the state government with finances meant for the National Health Mission and other such welfare schemes.
In a joint press conference by state PCC chief Arun Yadav and Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh, the Congress distributed a list claiming 5,311 buses have been organised to bring a 2,12,250 strong crowd from 51 districts of the state. The list shows that Sidhi administration has been asked to get 4,000 people in 40 buses, officials in Rewa will get 8,000 persons in 200 buses while Shahdol and Anuppur administration have been made responsible to fetch 80,000 persons in 2,000 buses. The Congress said that Umariya district officials have been ordered to get a 20,000 crowd for the PM’s meeting in 500 buses.

“State government has passed an order to pay Rs 500 per person who reaches the venue of the PM’s public meeting,” said LoP Ajay Singh. “Target has been given to every district to bring a certain number of people for PM’s public meeting. Not just this, it has been decided through a video conferencing by the chief secretary to district collectors that every person who attends this programme will be paid Rs 100 per day in cash.” From the village panchayat of a district to Amarkantak and back, the Congress claims will be an average five days journey and Rs 500 will be paid per person.

“The food will be sponsored by the state tourism department, while payments will be made with funds diverted from National Health Mission and the Agriculture Technology Management Agency (ATMA) under the agriculture department,” the LoP said. The Congress has also alleged that the buses which were booked for marriages have been cancelled to fetch crowds for the meeting.

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