Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s decision to collect money during bandh under scannerhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/shivraj-singh-chouhans-decision-to-collect-money-during-bandh-under-scanner/

Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s decision to collect money during bandh under scanner

Donations amounting to Rs 7.42 crore, including Rs 2.86 lakh in cash, were collected on Thursday.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and his Cabinet colleagues’ impromptu decision to collect donations at a protest site in Bhopal, has come under the scanner of the Election Commission.

Donations amounting to Rs 7.42 crore, including Rs 2.86 lakh in cash, were collected Thursday when Chouhan and his ministerial colleagues fasted in protest against the Centre’s alleged indifference towards farm losses.

Though the protest was announced in advance it took place a day after the model code of conduct came in force. Calling it chanda, the Congress Friday filed a complaint with the CEO describing the collection of money as violation of election code. Congress leader Manak Agrawal said though it was claimed the money would go to the CM’s Relief Fund, no government machinery was involved in the process.

“CM’s Relief Fund is a financial arrangement governed by rules and the money is not collected informally or at protest sites. Money is collected in government offices and kept in sealed boxes that are opened in the presence of authorised government officials ,” the complaint said.

Additional CEO C L Kantarao said a report had been sought from the Bhopal collector about whether permission had been sought for the protest and whether the collection of money at the protest site was in violation of the purpose for which the permission was given.