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The Telangana government’s splurging of Rs 1.66 crore towards buying silver filigree weighing 180 kg as gifts to VIP dignitaries at the inauguration of Kaleshwaram Project in June, has received strong condemnation from the opposition and activists alike. 

The government issued a G.O. Rt.No. 2175 on August 20, which revealed that the KCR government had spent an overwhelming Rs 1,66,86,000 on the mementos for the chief guests. 

The GO released on Wednesday sanctioned the release of half the amount to Silver Filigree of Karimnagar (SIFKA) which had designed these mementos. 

The Kaleshwaram project was inaugurated by the Chief Minister on June 21 this year. The guests for the event included Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan among others.

Slamming CM KCR for splurging money, Congress national spokesperson, Sravan Dasoju told TNM, “This is nothing but an ugly display of power and authority. Why did KCR spend so much money on those gifts? It is a waste of public money. If he was so overwhelmed by the presence of the chief guests, he should have gifted them from his own money, not from the state exchequer.”

Echoing the same, BJP spokesperson, Krishna Saagar Rao, said, “This is not the first time he (KCR) has abused power so brazenly. During all his visits to meet other CMs, he has presented them expensive gifts made from gold and silver. He thinks that he is a Maharaja and splurges extravagantly. He is a Chief Minister and the custodian of the money, he is accountable for that money, but he fails to understand this.”

Krishna Saagar Rao alleged that while the government has failed in providing fee reimbursements for the underprivileged, the CM has been exhibiting ‘faux prestige’ of the state government by giving expensive gifts to the dignitaries.

The BJP had earlier likened KCR to a ‘village Sarpanch’ after he showered sops on Chintamadaka villagers. Chintamadaka is his native village. During his visit to Chintamadaka, the CM had announced Rs 10 lakh worth benefits for each household in the village. The scheme was exclusively for Chintamadaka residents.

Activist PL Vishweshwar Rao said, “Kaleshwaram itself is a questionable project. It has allegations of massive corruption and commissions. But for this project, the CM splurged huge public money by turning it to a tourism spot and taking villagers to show the project site. It is known that Telangana government is the most corrupt in the country. While the state is in a debt of Rs 1.8 lakh crore, what is the need to spend so much money?”

“The state of government schools and hospitals are so pathetic, instead of spending money towards making them better, KCR is blowing money on unnecessary things,” he said.

CM KCR is no stranger to controversies when it comes to splurging public money towards gifts even for his personal religious beliefs.   
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