Bihar Congress owes Rs 75 lakhs to Government : Story of 18-year-old arrear

Sadaqat Ashram, Bihar Congress HQ

Radical, 30 January 1971

Patna: The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee owes about Rs. 75 lakhs to the State Government — the amount spent on the election tours of the Prime Minister since 1952.

A huge amount is also said to be due to the Patna Improvement Trust, the State Road Transport Corporation and other Government bodies in connection with the Session of the Indian National Congress held in Patna in 1962.

Rs. 23.12 lakhs were spent during the 1969 midterm poll on Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s tour to the State. Since 1952 the Pradesh Congress has paid even a single paisa towards the dues.

It is not correct to blame any one faction of the Congress for this political immorality. It was the United Congress which really took advantage of its position as the ruling party and recklessly spent Government money for organisational purpose.

Honesty demanded that the Congress should have spent its own money in organising election meetings to be addressed by the Prime Minister or other dignitaries of the Party. But that was not done. Taking undue advantage of its position as the ruling party, the Congress spent a huge amount of money from public exchequer.

Closely-guarded Secret

The whole thing had been kept such a closely guarded secret that it was not until 1967, when the Congress was thrown out of power in Bihar that the truth about the Government expenditure for the benefit of ruling party came to light.

However, as the Congress was continuing to rule at the Centre, even the United Front Ministry in Bihar was hardly in a position to press for payment of State Government’s dues from the Congress Party.

SVD’s Bold Step

The new SVD Government headed by Karpoori Thakur has decided that in future it would not bear the cost of Prime Minister’s election tour.

Asked what he would do in regard to the ensuing mid-term poll for the Lok Sabha, Mr. Thakur said, “let the Congress (R) spend for the P.M’s tour. We have only one obligation and that is to make security arrangement.”

The State Government is also going to issue directives to the effect that the Central Ministers while on election tours should not be treated as State guest. As such no free accommodation, board or transport would be provided to them.

Radical 30 January 1971


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