RTI plea on BJP’s spend on Goa meeting

Panaji, June 5 (IANS) Goa BJP leaders have repeatedly dodged questions related to the expenditure on preparations for the three-day national executive meeting beginning here June 7 but an activist has filed an RTI plea to get the details.

Spurred on by Monday’s landmark order by the Chief Information Commissioner bringing political parties under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, an application filed by an information activist might just do the trick.

Kashinath Shetye, a former government employee, has sought to know from the hosts, the BJP’s Goa unit, how much money was being spent in the lavish preparations.

The meeting will not only see the crème de la crème of the BJP leadership, but also host over 300 office bearers who will huddle together to strategically chart out a course for the 2014 Lok Sabha election. The meeting could also throw up the name of the party’s prime ministerial candidate.

Shetye’s application Wednesday seeks to know “the estimate of (national) executive meet on June 7, 8 and 9” as well as the amount of money spent by the BJP on a similar national executive meeting held in 2002, when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the prime minister.

BJP leaders here have been dodgy about sharing the details involving the event’s finances.

Former state president and national executive member Laxmikant Parsenkar said: “We do not know, but it will be a great event.”

Party president Vinay Tendulkar too evaded queries related to the funding of the mega event, saying the details had not been furnished to him yet.

The BJP has virtually taken over two five star hotels in the city, apart from booking assorted accommodation in a range of other hotels in the capital, where party leaders according to their designation and rank will be lodging.

While the Goa Marriott has been selected as the venue and main residential facility for several of its top leaders, the Vivanta by Taj, also located nearby, will host a nearly 300-strong media contingent.

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