New Delhi, Mar. 3 (NNN): Putting it’s foot down, the Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Union government to furnish details of the huge funds spent on the controversial India Shining campaign, general liked by most non-national Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties as nothing but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) electoral
Even though a division bench of the court sought details of the funds spent, it refused to issue a notice to the Government, saying, "Let us first know the figures."
Chief Justice B C Patel and Justice B D Ahmed are hearing two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) on the issue.
The Court also took note of the fact that the Election Commission of India has already banned the India Shining and Bharat Uday adertisement campaigns.
Bharatiya Janata Party has been defending the campaigns as not that of the party’s but that of government, asserting there was nothing wrong in projecting the achievements of the past five year and “advancement of the nation.”
Reacting to the High Ccourt directive, Union Law Minister Arun Jaitley has said the funds for the India Shining campaign were sanctioned in the 2003-04 Budget.
"In the last Budget, Rs 100 crore (Rs 10 million) was sanctioned for the India Shining campaign and till about two weeks back, we had spent Rs 48 crore out of that," he said.
The Minister maintained that the figure of Rs 700 crore (Rs 70 million) being cited by the critics of the campaign is exaggerated. "We may end up spending Rs 65 crore on this campaign," he added.
Most of the opposition parties and many civil liberty groups in the country have been crying foul and voicing concern over the massive funds being spent by the government.