BJP dodges questions on Parrikar’s birthday bash funding

Panaji, Dec 12 (IANS) The BJP leaders in Goa on Saturday dodged questions on the funding of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s birthday bash to be held on Sunday but insisted that the celebration will be low key.

Asked about the expenses to be incurred for Parrikar’s birthday bash, which has been criticised by the opposition as well as a section of civil society, Goa BJP president Vinay Tendulkar, addressing a press conference said “it will be a simple ceremony and not a grand one”.

“About the expenses, we will tell you when we have another press conference. There is no target for collection of money for the birthday celebration,” he said.

At least 50,000 guests are expected to be in attendance for the former Goa chief minister’s birthday bash here.

Tendulkar also said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari would also attend the event.

“The BJP has done good for a lot of people and has earned goodwill. They also feel that Parrikar’s birthday should be celebrated. These people will contribute and fund the expenses,” Goa Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, secretary of the 135-member reception committee for organising the event, who was also present at the press briefing, said.

“Apart from that, if required, the party will also spend,” he added.

The Congress, over the last one week has been demanding that the public felicitation of Parrikar on his birthday should be scrapped in view of the escalating tension along the LoC and the Chennai floods.

Tendulkar also reiterated that the allegations made by the opposition, that a huge amount of money was being spent for the birthday was incorrect.

“There will be no food, buffet, the stage decor will be simple, not too many flower decorations. Some party workers were trying to arrange for a 60 metre long rose garland. They had even placed an order but we said no,” Tendulkar said.

The BJP leader also said that over 900 buses were expected to ferry the nearly 50,000 guests, expected to attend the function.

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