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Rs 46 lakh: This is what Odisha Guv spent on a single visit to his home town in Haryana

Shocked government seeks explanation from his secretariat, only to express regrets later.

Sirsa (Haryana): The recent visit of Ganeshi Lal, the Governor of Odisha, to Sirsa– his home town – in Haryana has set the Odisha Government back by a whopping Rs 46 lakhs. After chief minister Naveen Patnaik raising concern over the bill, the state government sought an explanation from the Governor’s secretariat.

The Raj Bhavan paid Rs 41.18 lakh to charter a special private jet (Legacy 650) for the Governor’s travel from Bhubaneshwar to Delhi and another Rs 5 lakh for a helicopter to take him from Delhi to Sirsa for an event on June 10 – days after he became the Governor.

In a letter dated July 4, written to the Governor’s Special Secretary, the General Administration Department’s deputy secretary, Indira Behra, sought the reason for chartering the plane and the chopper. The letter sought to know “The reasons and circumstances under which, the two aircrafts were hired for use by the Hon’ble Governor and deviation in the approved schedule of the flight”  and “whether approval of the competent authority was taken.”

Guv is an RSS man

Prof Ganeshi Lal, a mathematics professor, was appointed the Governor of Odisha in May this year. Ganesha, a resident of Sirsa, Haryana, is associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.

He has also been the Haryana BJP President in the past. Between 1996-97, he was a minister in the Bansilal Government.

Chief secretary regrets

The governor’s OSD Indrajit Khurana said that the state chief secretary has since sent a letter of regret in relation to the communication about governor’s travel expenses. “The chief secretary had apprised the governor that his travel from Bhubaneswar to Sirsa by a chartered flight had already been approved by the state government. He expressed his deep regret at the manner in which the letter was sent to the Governor’s office regarding the use of the aircraft and said that stringent action would be taken against those responsible,” a statement issued by the chief secretary’s PR officer UK Mohapatra said.

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