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RTI reveals Kerala govt spent Rs 27.9 lakh to commemorate Fidel Castro

The department made a lavish tribute to commemorate the anniversary of Castro in the state capital using public money. This was revealed in a response to an RTI application filed by K Govindan Nampoothiry from Kochi. 

As per the response, the state government spent Rs 1,37,745 to commemorate Cuban revolutionary leader at an event held at the University Senate Hall in Thiruvananthapuram on November 29, 2016, just a few months after the LDF government came to power in the state. The Senate Hall event was attended by party leaders including leader of opposition Ramesh Chennithala and BJP’s lone MLA O Rajagopal among many other dignitaries. 

What could be termed as an exorbitant and unnecessary expenditure with no benefit for the state exchequer is the fact that the department spent a whopping Rs 26.60 lakh on Newspaper advertisement for the commemoration event. 

This is the first time the State government is officially commemorating on such a massive scale. These advertisements were released to over 70 newspapers and periodicals in the state with a face of Fiedel Castro in it. 

Shockingly, the RTI reply issued by the General Administration (Political) Department on February 22, 2017, states that the program was overseen on the instructions of the Kerala Chief Minister’s Office.

What makes this move, even more, questionable is the fact that GAD allegedly organised the commemoration without releasing a government order in this regard.

“Why the Kerala Government organised an event to commemorate a foreign leader who hasn’t done anything for the development of Kerala. Moreover, the state government does not even have the tradition of commemorating foreign leaders. A probe is must on this matter to examine whether it has resulted in maladministration of power,” Govindan stated.

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