Virat Kohli paid Rs 47 lakhs by Uttarakhand govt from flood funds, claims RTI
The RTI claims that Kohli was paid Rs 47.19 lakh from the flood funds.
What’s the story?
Indian captain Virat Kohli could well land into a controversy after an RTI revealed that the Uttarakhand government had paid him a sum of Rs 47.19 lakh in June 2015 from funds allocated for victims of the deadly 2013 Kedarnath floods for appearing in a 60-second tourism video.
While Kohli would not have been aware of the payment amount this could well sour his relations with the already under fire Chief Minister of Uttarakhand Harish Rawat.
The payment was paid by Ms. Kailash Entertainment Private Ltd. Mumbai which is the firm of famous singer Kailash Kher.
Kohli was appointed the brand ambassador of the state and was roped in to promote tourism in the state. Bunty Sajdeh, who is the manager of the Indian captain has said that there were no financial transactions undertaken during that period.
However, Surendra Kumar, media advisor to the CM, told Times of India categorically mentioned to the Times of India that since tourism forms the backbone of the state's economy, there is nothing wrong if a prominent face of the country is chosen to promote the state. He further adds that all such allegations are baseless and everything was legal and that such claims are only election stunts carried out by the opposition.
In case you didn’t know...
Virat Kohli was appointed the brand ambassador of the northern state and was pretty active in promoting tourism. He was also joined by Anushka Sharma during the process.
However, the deals have come under the scanner as Ajendra Yadav, the person who filed the RTI query, said that Kohli was paid the amount for appearing in the minute-long promotional video for Uttarakhand Tourism.
The RTI reply clearly shows that the amount was paid by the district disaster management authority of Rudraprayag after due clearance was given by the Uttarakhand State Disaster Response Management Authority. The entire process was carried out via emails.
It would be interesting to see how Kohli would react to these allegations and also if he returns the money. Also, the results of the probe would be closely monitored as it could well have a bearing on the ongoing elections in Uttarakhand.
Virat Kohli is one of youth icons of the country and thus his response to these allegations would in many ways would stamp his legacy off the field as well. Also, it could set him apart from other icons as if he offers to return the amount he could well set a benchmark for other to always take a moral high ground during controversial deals.