On Taxpayers’ Money, Delhi Govt Approves Free Pilgrimage For 77,000 Senior Citizens
On July 8, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted that “Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra Yojana”, a scheme that would allow 77,000 senior citizens to go on pilgrimage on the government’s expense, has been approved and that all the objections stood overruled.
The chief minister also overruled all objections raised by Lt Governor Anil Baijal, days after the Supreme Court verdict on power tussle between the Delhi and the centre.
Mukhyamantri teerth yatra yojana approved. All objections overruled. Dy CM will brief media today on its details
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) July 9, 2018
Mukhyamantri Teerth Yatra Yojana
On January 10, AAP government had approved this scheme which was introduced to enable 1,100 senior citizens from each assembly constituency in Delhi for undertaking a free pilgrimage. The scheme was introduced for Delhi-Mathura-Vrindavan-Agra-Fatehpur Sikri-Delhi; Delhi-Haridwar-Rishikesh-Neelkanth-Delhi; Delhi-Ajmer-Pushkar-Delhi; Delhi-Amritsar-Bagha Border-Anandpur Sahib-Delhi and Delhi-Vaishno Devi-Jammu-Delhi routes.
The government had then said that all the Delhi resident above the age of 60 years would be eligible for this scheme and if selected, the whole expenditure of the senior citizen and one attendant above the age of 18 years will be borne by the government.
However, in March, L-G Anil Baijal had objected to this scheme. CM Arvind Kejriwal had taken to Twitter to express his displeasure.
I feel v v sad that LG is practically obstructing every scheme and every project of Del Govt. How do we run govt like this?
My appeal to BJP – Don’t obstruct our work. I challenge ur govts in other states to compete wid us in work https://t.co/Nc9NXlRvAN
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 30, 2018
The Logical Indian take
About 77,000 senior citizens would be benefitting from this scheme. A huge chunk of funds, which could otherwise be used for the betterment of medical facilities, old age homes or providing them with a higher pension, will now be used for this scheme. A secular government is the one that interferes with religious activities the least. Subsidies based on religious grounds should not be given to people. It does not matter which religion one belongs to. State expenditure should be more on health and education than taking care of people’s religious sentiments.