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RTI reply says Shashi Tharoor’s promised MPLADS fund not received by medical institute, Tharoor blames central govt after reply goes viral

Shashi Tharoor clarified said that he had allotted the fund on 30th March, before the MPLADS was suspended by union govt for 2 years due to Coronavirus

An RTI plea filed to seek the donations received by the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram revealed that contrary to what Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had boasted on his Twitter timeline, the institute had not received any funds from the Trivandrum MP to bankroll its research and development work in building a new coronavirus kit that would considerably reduce the sample-to-result time of COVID-19 tests.

RTI response to plea seeking donations received by the institute from Shashi Tharoor(Source: Twitter)

Kerala BJP President Muraleedharan also tweeted a copy of RTI reply dated 22.06.2020 by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Thiruvananthapuram which claimed that no funds under MPLADS are received till date to Institute from Dr Shashi Tharoor MP Trivandrum.

“RTI plea busted @INCKerala MP @ShashiTharoor’s claim of donating ₹1 Cr. MPLADS fund to @sctimst_tvm. They did not receive the fund either for R&D or for the purchase of Test Kits. Stop #Lying!” V Muraleedharan tweeted.

The RTI was filed after Congress leader Shashi Tharoor tweeted that he had allocated Rs 1 crore from his MPLADS fund to finance the Research and Development that can lead to a breakthrough in battling coronavirus as the institute prepared a new test kit that brought the sample-to-result time below two hours.

The RTI response effectively punctures the claims made by the Congress leader that the institute prepared the rapid testing kits using the money earmarked by him from his MPLADS fund. The reply received in response to the RTI plea said that no fund had been received by the institute from Dr Shashi Tharoor. It further stated that no project has been created since the claimed funds were not received by the institute till date.

Shashi Tharoor calls Muraleedharan’s claims as “scurrilous”; provides detailed clarification

However, the Thiruvananthapuram MP, Shashi Tharoor, in his defence, had rubbished the allegations levelled against him and termed the tweet by the Kerala BJP president against him as “scurrilous”. In a series of tweets, he provided detailed clarification on the matter, alleging that the funds were granted on March 30, before the government of India suspended MPLADS funds for two years due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

“Given the institution’s strong history of path-breaking innovation and the calibre of its scientists, I was confident that this would be successful & allocated this amount to the institute as the attachment shows,” Shashi Tharoor tweeted along with the allotment letter. The Congress leader added that the allotment was made by letter dated 30 March on the understanding that SCTIMST would get the funds once the kits were developed by them.

Read- Shashi Tharoor shares dubious claims hailing Kerala govt from a hoax site, then refuses to delete it because ‘it is viral now’

Tharoor further added that District administration and institute administration asked him to provide the same amount as funding against purchase citing the revised MPLAD guidelines that did not allow support and development but authorised only purchases.

“And surely even @VMBJP can understand that for funds to be disbursed, purchase needs to be made; for purchase, production needs to start; and for production, you need to convince your govt to support our institutes & approve their kits, instead of sitting on Twitter?” Tharoor tweeted.

“This BJP Govt has a shameful pattern: it fails to perform &then it attacks theOpposition for allegedly not doing the Govt’s job. The cretinous tweet by @VMBJP is merely the latest example of this. He should apologise for accusing me of lying when I’ve been fully transparent,” an irate Tharoor tweeted, blasting at the BJP government and MoS Muraleedharan for calling him a liar.

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