Tea Scam? RTI Reveals Maharastra CMO Tea Bill Is Rs 3.4 Crore For 1 Year

| March 29 , 2018 , 13:04 IST

The Maharashtra Congress on Wednesday alleged that a massive 'Tea Scam' is ongoing inside Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis office, as an RTI revealed that the CMO's expenses for tea for the year 2017-2018 clocked in at Rs 3.4 crore. According to the total, around 18,500 cups of tea would have to be served daily. 

The Mumbai Congress chief Sanjay Nirupam stated the figures obtained by an RTI, he alleged that there is a dramatic rise in the number of expenses incurred on tea consumption in the CMO in the past three years.

While mentioning the figures, he said the expenses made on tea has risen from Rs 58 lakhs to nearly Rs 3.4 crores in 2017-18.

He said, "This is a staggering increase of 577%. It means that on an average, a whopping 18,591 cups of tea are served in CMO daily... How is it possible?"

Nirupam also made remarks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Dragging Modi 'Tea Scam' he said, "On one hand, the Prime Minister takes great pride in saying that he was a 'Chaiwala'. On the other hand, Fadnavis has clearly taken this a bit too far with the massive and unnecessary expense incurred on serving tea in his office. Both the PM and the Maharashtra CM are taking the country for a ride in the name of chai."

The Congress has also raised demands for a probe in the matter as serving tea to 18000 people daily at CMO office is a matter of suspicion. He also added that the huge expenses are done at the cost of honest taxpayers' money.

Nirupam requested, "This is happening right under the CM's nose and in the CMO. It must be investigated who is doing it and action must be taken."

The Chief Minister’s office has issued a clarification on the allegation made by Sanjay Nirupam. The statement issued by CMO stated that the amount mentioned in the RTI reply is not just for tea, but for several other expenses.

CMO's statement said, “The amount stated includes various other expenses such as snacks and lunch during meetings, expenses of flowers, mementoes, gifts given during felicitation and hosting of guests. The expenses are not only of Chief Minister’s office but also of his office at the Mantralay, Sahyadri Guest House, Varsha residence, Ramgiri residence at Nagpur and Hyderabad House.”

Just a week before these allegations, a rat scam rattled the Maharashtra government, when the opposition accused it of inflating figures of rat killings. Which stated that Mantralaya had killed 3.19 lakh rats at the headquarters over a week.