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   There is a lot of speculation as to how much money was spent... (August 1, 1986)

There is a lot of speculation as to how much money was spent by Mr. Murli Deora and

Mr. Moti Daryanani during the Congress Centenart celebrations. I have tried to work out a very rough estimate.

The racecourse, Brabourne Stadium and other venues, of course, came free, so there. For the construction of the shamianas at the racecourse, the special type of cloth was bought in Delhi and transported to Bombay by trucks. That would have cost Rs. 2 crore. The bamboo that was used to erect the shamianas, the painting of the cloth in Congress colours, the hiring of 500 tailors to stitch the cloth, the payment of labour to erect the shamianas, would have cost another Rs. 3, crore.

Which makes it Rs. 5 crore so far.

Next, construction of storage water tanks at the racecourse, provision of pipelines and water taps, 5000 toilet seats, charges for police bandobust, fire-brigade staff, would amount to another Rs. 5 crore. Which makes the total so far Rs. 10 crore. Which makes the total so far Rs. 10 crore.

The shamiana with the pillars at the Brabourne Stadium, the stage, loud-speaker arangements (though they did not work), police bandobust (though that also did not work), electricity charges at both stadium and race course, feeding the press at the stadium (catering by Thancker's vegetarian), would have cost Rs. 12 crore. Mr. Hussain's paintings were free. The total now-Rs.22 crore.

Arrangements at August Kranti Maidan would be in the neighbourhood of Rs. 10 crore. Total Rs. 32 crore.

Feeding the over one lakh delegates twice a day, including supply of bananas by trucks, was a major item of expenditure, everything costs so much these days. I will put it at Rs. 15 crore, give or take a few lakhs. Which takes the total to Rs. 47 crore.

The transport of the delegates (in cluding buses, cars, special trains, special aircraft for the VVIPs), returning to Delhi via Jaipur, the hiring of hundreds of ST buses, BEST buses, that should have incurred an expenditure of Rs. 20 crore.

Which brings the total to Rs. 67 crore.

The putting up of foreign delegates at Taj Oberoi, etc., journalists at Ambassador, Nataraj, etc, Rs. 8 crore (total Rs. 75 crore). Posters, arches, cut-outs all over Bombay (not counting the ones put up by the Shiv Sena), Rs. 10 crore. Security for the VVIPs (also those on the hit list like Mr. Khushwant Singh), Rs. 10 crore. Garlands for the young President of the Congress, fireworks display (Mrs. Bali's cultural show was free), Rs. 5 crore.

Which makes the total exactly Rs. 100 crore. Of which, I understand, Mr. Deora paid Rs. 50 crore and Mr. Daryanani Rs. 50 crore, splitting the expenses half and half.

 
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