The Central Railway will spend Rs 1.62 crore on setting up photo booths at railway stations where people can take selfies with images of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The Hindu reported on Tuesday.

As per a Right to Information reply, the Centre has approved expenditure of Rs 6.25 lakh on each permanent 3D selfie booth and Rs 1.25 lakh on each temporary booth.

The Central Railways has installed selfie booths featuring Modi across 50 railway stations in five divisions - Mumbai, Bhusaval, Nagpur, Pune and Solapur.

Temporary installations will be set up at 30 Category A stations, including Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus, Kalyan, Nagpur and Betul, while permanent installations will be set up at 20 Category C stations including Karjat, Kasara, Latur and Kopargaon.

The Right to Information query was filed by retired railway official Ajay Bose. The applicant said that the northern, southern and western railways did not reveal the total expenditure on the selfie points.

However, the Northern Railway, in response to Bose’s query, said that it will install selfie booths featuring Modi at around 100 places, reported The Hindu. Railway stations at Dehradun, Ambala, New Delhi, Amritsar, Ayodhya and Chandigarh will have three selfie booths each.

Congress leaders said that installing such selfie booths amounted to Prime Minister Modi and the BJP engaging in self-promotion at the taxpayers’ expense.

“The shameless self-promotion of the Prime Minister and the ruling party at the expense of the honest taxpayer is such a blatant misuse of government resources that, in any other democracy, would be condemned and lead to a taxpayer revolt,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor said. “In India, we are unfortunately inured to indulging the capricious whims and fancies of our rulers. What a shame that they can get away with this!”

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge questioned why the BJP was spending public money on “cheap election stunts”.

He said: “Earlier, the blood and sacrifice of our brave soldiers was politically used by ordering the Armed Forces to install 822 such Selfie-points with a prominent cut-out of Modi ji... Modi Government hasn’t provided drought and flood relief to states. MGNREGA funds for opposition ruled states are also pending. But it has the audacity to generously splurge public money on these cheap election stunts.”