Costly Lime Juice!

The day-long fast of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, including the expenses of travel and other services, costed the state government Rs. 11 crore. According to a statement released by the Finance Department, GO RT 215, stated that "the government is issuing a Budget Release Order for Rs. 10 crore towards meeting the expenditure of Hon'ble CM's one-day Deeksha for transportation costs of the participants along with payment of other bills."

The amount has been spent on hiring two special trains from Anantapur and Srikakulam for the participants along with their accommodation and local travel bills.  Two days ahead of the CM's Deeksha, the state government had released another GO which released a budget of Rs. 1.2 crore for the same.

Criticising the state government's spending on the Deeksha, the Opposition asked about how the TDP government could spend Rs. 11 crore lavishly just for a day's programme in Delhi. "Chandrababu spent 11 crs to have a lime juice in Delhi" said a YSRCP leader. Earlier, even the Prime Minister criticised the TDP for spending government's money for party programmed. However, TDP leaders state that the day-long fast was a government programme which included various employee unions, social organisations which are demanding Special Status for Andhra Pradesh.

The protest in New Delhi by the Chief Minister witnessed a unity of Opposition leaders. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, senior Congress leaders, leaders from SP, TMC and Shiv Sena, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Supremos of NCP and National Conference, JD(S) Chief Deve Gowda and several other leaders expressed solidarity with AP Chief Minister for demanding Special Status for AP, along with his demand to fulfil assurances made in the AP Reorganisation Act.

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