Event like Kumbh fair provide opportunities to the government to develop infrastructure, said Minister of State (MoS) Finance Anurag Thakur on Thursday while responding to Congress leader Udit Raj's tweet wherein he questioned the Uttar Pradesh government's spending on religious events.
"I think some people remain in the confines of politics only. They do not have ideas and will for development. The government has to develop infrastructure and provide facilities to crores of devotees who visit the Kumbh fair. When the government provides facilities, it helps in tourism," Thakur said while speaking to media here at an event to celebrate former Delhi Chief Minister Madan Lal Khurana's birth anniversary.
"Kumbh fair, sports event and other events provide opportunities to the government to develop infrastructure. During Commonwealth games, a basic infrastructure was developed in Delhi. For the G20 meeting too infrastructure was developed. The infrastructure which is developed for these events, does not remain event-specific only, they are utilised later," he added.
Asserting that religion should be separate from political power, Congress leader Udit Raj on Thursday said that the state should neither encourage nor discourage any religion.
Raj's response comes after he tweeted that no religious teachings and rituals should be funded by the government and cited the expense incurred by the Uttar Pradesh government on organising the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad as an example. However, he later deleted the tweet.
On being asked about his tweet, Raj told ANI, "Religion should be separate from political power and the state should not interfere, encourage or discourage any religion. In this context, I had cited the example of Kumbh fair expenditure as it was huge."
Earlier, Raj had tweeted, "No religious teachings and rituals to be funded by the Govt. The state doesn't have its own religion. UP govt spent 4,200 crore in organising the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad and that too was wrong?" He has now restored his tweet.