In a recent development, Aaditya Thackeray, former Maharashtra minister and Worli MLA, has raised serious concerns over Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s alleged plan to lead a delegation of over 50 individuals to the Davos World Economic Forum (WEF). According to Thackeray, this significant number of participants has not received proper clearance from the Ministry of External Affairs, sparking controversy over the potential misuse of public resources.
Thackeray voiced his apprehensions on social media, questioning the legitimacy of such a large delegation and highlighting the implications for taxpayers. He emphasized that even if some members of the group cover their travel expenses independently, the use of state-funded resources, including cars, hotels, and meals, raises ethical and financial concerns.
About WEF Stir Controversy:
“Is the @FinMinIndia and @MEAIndia aware of this junket, and has political clearance been given to this 70+ group?” Thackeray queried in his online statement. He also underscored the necessity of political clearance for the 50 individuals representing formal agencies of the Government of Maharashtra, a step he believes is essential for the approval of the Government of India.
This controversy has stirred debates within political circles, with concerns ranging from fiscal responsibility to the appropriateness of such a sizable delegation in the first place. Critics argue that the delegation’s size is disproportionate to the usual national representation at international forums, suggesting potential impropriety in the Chief Minister’s decision.
The issue has also brought attention to the broader question of accountability in government spending. As taxpayers foot the bill for official trips, there is an increasing demand for transparency and adherence to established protocols when it comes to political delegations.
As the controversy unfolds, key questions linger: Were proper channels followed in organizing this delegation, and does it align with the norms set by the Ministry of External Affairs? Is the Finance Ministry aware of the potential financial burden on the state, and is there a justified need for such a large representation at the Davos WEF?
While Eknath Shinde has not directly responded to these allegations, the controversy underscores the need for clear guidelines and transparency in the organization of official delegations. It remains to be seen how the central government, as well as concerned authorities, will address these allegations and whether they will have broader implications for political delegations in the future.