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PM Modi’s Visit To Dharwad Cost Karnataka A Whooping Rs 9.49 Crores

World Press Freedom Index
Image Source: Outlook India

The logistics for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s March 12 inauguration of the new IIT-Dharwad campus cost the Basavaraj Bommai-led Bharatiya Janata Party administration in Karnataka a total of Rs 9.49 crore. The cost included guest transportation, lunches, stage setups, branding, promotions, and other logistics.

Days before Karnataka’s next assembly elections, PM Modi announced several development projects around the state and laid the foundation of a permanent Indian Institute of Technology campus at Dharwad. More than two lakh people attended the event, the bulk of whom received transportation and food, according to the Times of India. At the ceremony, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai and Union Minister Prahlad Joshi were also present.


PM Modi In Dharwad With Other Senior Ministers
Image Source: The Indian Express

The Hubbali-Dharwad district administration provided a breakdown of the costs incurred and stated that Rs 2.83 crore was spent on KSRTC buses to transport people to the venue and back, while Rs 86 lakh was spent on providing lunch, according to responses received by Janata Dal (Secular) leader Gururaj Hunsahimarad.

A German tent, the stage, a “green room,” and barricades cost approximately Rs 4.68 crore to build. The sound, LED lighting, and CCTV equipment cost Rs 40 lakh. The branding of the event cost a separate Rs 61 lakh.

The information is significant because the prime minister is touring the southern states. He is dividing his time between visiting the Bandipur wildlife reserve in Karnataka, headed towards elections, and the nearby Mudumalai tiger reserve, holding campaign rallies in Hyderabad and opening new trains and the Chennai airport in Tamil Nadu.


PM Modi In Bandipur Tiger Reserve
Image Source: NDTV

The opposition parties in Karnataka have criticised the opulent inauguration ceremonies that Prime Minister Modi has been attending and said that indirectly public funds were used to support Modi’s BJP election campaign.

JD(S) Dharwad district president, Hunsahimarad, told TOI, “The function seemed like an election campaign convention of BJP. This is a blatant misuse of public money and authority.” He further alleged that, although being a government event, the BJP gave attendees “VIP” and “VVIP” permits. However, the security team ultimately ruled that these passes had no legitimacy, and Hunsahimarad said that numerous elderly people with such passes struggled to enter the stadium.


Gururaj Hunsahimarad
Image Source: Deccan Herald

He further told the Wire, “The RTI response, given by the Hubbali-Dharwad’s deputy commissioner’s office, accounts for only the amount spent from the deputy commissioner’s fund. According to our estimates, nearly Rs 20 crore were spent on the event.”

He further added, “private vehicles were also hired. Nearly 60,000 people were given lunch. People were lured by the BJP with the offer of Rs 1,000 per person for attending the event.” He said he had filed the RTI four days after the event on March 16, 2023, but got a reply from the DC’s office only four days ago.


The RTI Response
Image Source: The Wire

A Twitter handle which goes by the name @churumuri has taken a dig at PM Modi through a series of tweets:


The state government also suffered comparable costs when PM Modi attended other functions. According to an RTI response obtained by Shimoga resident Akash Patil, the state government paid 1,600 KSRTC buses a total of Rs 3.94 crore to transport guests to the event when Prime Minister Modi opened the Shimoga airport on February 27, 2023, according to the Kannada daily Prajavani. An executive engineer from the state’s Public Works Department gave the money to the KSRTC.

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