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Defends use of relief funds for dance contest by CM Devendra Fadnavis' office

 2015-10-24 07:42:05.0

MUMBAI: The sanction of Rs�8�lakh from Maharashtra Chief Minister's Relief Fund for a dance troupe's visit to Thailand had sparked a row with the opposition questioning the BJP-led government's "priorities" at a time when the state is going�under severe drought.CMDevendra-Fadnavis

The fund used here is neither from drought relief nor Jalyukt Shivar. Government employees are not entitled for any other private aid for cultural activities and this is the only way they can get the aid. This aid is as per the norms followed since many years.�The CM's Relief Fund has separate accounts for drought relief , Jalyukt Shivar and others.�Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis's office has clarified on the alleged use of relief funds for a dance troupe and said "It wasn't a commercial event but was performing arts competition.

However, an official of the CMO said there is no wrongdoing in disbursing of the fund. Registered in 1967 with the charity commissioner, the CM's relief fund can be used for funding cultural activities.�An RTI query filed by activist Anil Galgali found that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavisa�approved Rs 8 lakh for a government employee's dance troupe to participate in a competition in Bangkok in December. He sanctioned the sum that was transferred to Sachivalaya Gymkhana for the dance contest.

Spokesperson Nawab Malik�said that the state government "which does not have funds to help cancer and heart patients, was very prompt in giving money for the dance troupe's visit to Thailand".�The government should recover the money and if it fails to do so, Fadnavis should pay from his pocket, he said.

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