Chief Minister's Plane Ride Billed To Disaster Fund By Kerala Government

The order also states that the chartered flight company asked for Rs 13,09,800, but were convinced to bring down the bill to Rs 8,00,000 for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's flight.

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Pinarayi Vijayan reportedly took a chartered flight between Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur


Thiruvananthapuram:  A Rs 8 lakh-bill for Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's chartered flight to a party meeting was handed to the State Disaster Relief Fund in an order that has now been withdrawn after huge criticism.

In an order put out on Monday, the state's Left government sanctioned Rs 8 lakh to be taken out of the disaster relief fund for the Chief Minister's flights in December.

The order put out by the revenue department was withdrawn just a day later, as the opposition ripped into the government alleging blatant misuse of funds.

On December 26, the Chief Minister made trips between state capital Thiruvananthapuram and Thrissur. He travelled from Thrissur, where he was attending a party meeting, to Thiruvananthapuram to meet a central ministerial team assessing the damage caused by Cyclone Ockhi, and then flew back to Thrissur.

"Government has examined the matter in detail and are pleased to accord sanction to the district Collector, Thiruvanthanpuram, to release an amount of 8,00,000 from the head of account... under SDRF (State Disaster Relief Fund)," said the order.
 
kerala disaster management dept doc ndtv


Sources in the Chief Minister's office claim that Mr Vijayan wasn't aware of the decision but has ordered his government to scrap it. 

The Chief Minister's office claims he wasn't aware of the order and has instructed officials to scrap it.

Curiously, even the minister in charge of the revenue department denied knowledge of the order.

"I didn't know how this order came about. Neither I nor my government knew about such an order. I don't know which government is mentioned in the order. I have asked for an explanation," Kerala Revenue Minister E Chandrasekharan said.

The Congress, not buying these claims, says the Chief Minister should be punished. "This is nothing but a case of corruption. This order cannot be passed without the know-how of CM or his ministers," said Kerala Congress chief MM Hassan. 

The chartered flight company had, according to the now-withdrawn order, quoted a price of Rs 13,09,800 at first, but after negotiations, was persuaded to bring down the bill to Rs 8,00,000.


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