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BJP to raise funds for tsunami victims

By Our Special Correspondent

JAIPUR, JAN. 4. Stung by the Congress accusation that the Rajasthan Government was not taking much interest in providing relief to the victims of tsunami, the Bharatiya Janata Party has initiated a series of steps to raise funds and resources for the affected persons, which included a commitment to collect Rs.1.50 crores in the next six days.

A meeting of MPs, MLAs and party functionaries, called here at the State headquarters of the BJP to discuss the forthcoming panchayat elections, also took up the issue of relief on in its agenda on Monday.

The vice president of the Rajasthan BJP, Onkar Singh Lakhawat, later briefing newspersons announced the setting up of a relief committee, headed by the MP from Udaipur, Kiran Maheshwari. The 19-member committee, which has the Ministers, Digamber Singh, Rajendra Rathore and Madan Dilawar and the MPs, Subhash Maharia and Pushp Jain as members, has a target to collect Rs.1.5 crore in just six days. The party units all over the State have been asked to go to the public for three days from January 5 asking for donations for relief.

The party MLAs have been asked to donate a month's salary to the relief fund while the councillors have been told to contribute their month's emoluments. The former MPs and MLAs have been asked to donate their month's pension. Mr.Lakhawat said the party was considering a one-time amendment in the rules regarding the use MLAs' Local Area Development Fund -- which amounts to Rs.60 lakhs -- so that they could contribute Rs.5 lakh each for relief. The topic had been discussed with the Chief Minister, Vasundhara Raje who too had responded favourably, he said.

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