With Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy leaving for Israel on Thursday night, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has criticised him for 'burdening' the public exchequer for a private visit.
BJP leader Lanka Dinakar flayed the YSRCP government for releasing Rs 22.52 lakh for the chief minister's security during the four-day visit.
"Why is public money is being used for a private visit by the chief minister and his family?" Dinakar asked.
The state government on Wednesday sanctioned Rs 22,52,500 towards security arrangements for the chief minister's visit. The general administration department issued the order for releasing the amount to Triple S. Tours and Travels, Israel, to make the security arrangements.
Earlier, an order issued on July 26 mentioned that the visit was purely personal and the expenditure would be borne by Jagan. The order was about the permission accorded to Jagan by the Ministry of External Affairs.
Under another order issued on the same day, the government granted permission to Sivaraj Senthil Kumar, Superintendent of Police, to visit Jerusalem in advance from July 29.
A Joshi, Chief Security Officer to the Chief Minister, was also permitted to visit Israel along with Jagan to oversee the security arrangements and provide round the clock security.
This is Jagan's first foreign visit after becoming the Chief Minister in May.
Jagan Reddy, a Protestant, and his family, would visit the holy sites associated with Christianity in Jerusalem. It is seen as a thanksgiving visit for the YSRCP's massive victory in the elections.
Earlier this week, a special CBI court granted permission to Jagan Redy to visit Jerusalem and the USA between August 1 and August 25.
The court also allowed Rajya Sabha member and YSRCP general secretary V. Vijaysai Reddy to go abroad.
Both Jagan Reddy and Vijaysai Reddy are on bail in the quid pro quo cases registered against them by the CBI in 2011. The bail conditions required them to take prior permission of the court to travel abroad.