Junagadh/Jesar (Guj) : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night offered to tender a public apology if his allegation that Rs 1,880 crore was spent from state exchequer for Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips is found to be false, hours after he made the claim.
“I had said this thing based on the report of a newspaper. If my information is wrong, today I say that I will publicly accept this mistake”, Modi said addressing a rally in Junagadh.
Earlier in the day, Modi, addressing a rally at Jesar, targeted the Congress President by claiming that Rs 1880 crore has been spent from the public exchequer for her foreign trips.
Speaking at Jesar, Modi said “to those Congress friends, who are accusing our government of uncontrolled expenditure, I want to ask: is it not true that on the foreign travels of the President of the Congress Party, Sonia Gandhi, in the past three years, Rs 1,880 crore has been spent from the public exchequer”.
“This clearly means that more than the total yearly budget of Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Rajkot Municipal Corporation combined has been spent only on the foreign trips of Sonia Gandhi and on her luxury hotel stays,” he added.
“I want to ask the Delhi Sultanate what is the compulsion that they have to allow this uncontrolled spending of poor people of the country,” Modi told the rally as part of his month-long pre-Assembly election tour of the state.
Sonia Gandhi will be launching Congress’ campaign for the state elections on Wednesday by addressing a rally of farmers in Rajkot. This will be her first visit to the poll-bound state.
Rs 1,880 cr of tax money spent on Sonia’s travel!
As this year’s Assembly election draws closer, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi has been relentless in cornering the Congress and disallowing the party and its leaders a chance to set the agenda or terms of the poll discourse. Instead, he continues to set the agenda, bluntly raising issues that can only put the Congress on the backfoot. No less important is the fact that these issues find an instant resonance among the masses, especially among young voters.
Two days before Congress president Sonia Gandhi is scheduled to visit Gujarat and expected to set the tone and tenor of the Congress’s election campaign (in 2007 she did that with her infamous and slanderous description of the Chief Minister as “maut ka saudagar”), Modi lashed out at the Congress and its political boss while addressing a youth rally in Jesar on Monday. Referring to a newspaper report Modi said Rs 1,880 cr had been spent from the public exchequer on Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips.
“To those Congress friends, who are accusing our Government of uncontrolled expenditure, I want to ask: Is it not true that on the foreign travels of the president of the Congress, Sonia Gandhi, in the past three years, Rs 1,880 crore has been spent from the public exchequer?” he asked. “This clearly means that more than the total yearly budget of Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Rajkot Municipal Corporations combined has been spent only on the foreign trips of Sonia Gandhi and on her luxury hotel stays,” he added.
“With whose permission have you taken Rs 1,880 crores from the nation’s treasury for Soniaji’s personal tours of America?” Modi tauntingly asked the Prime Minister. Last week, speaking at a rally in Faridabad, Modi had taunted the Prime Minister by pointing out that in eight years he has played Singham only twice — on both occasions during an election year in the US; and, to push issues that benefit America and Americans.
Modi said he was quoting from a response given by the Government to an RTI application of a youth of Hisar in Haryana. “This is the basis of my claim… So far the report has not been denied either by the Government or Sonia Gandhi.”
Sonia Gandhi will be launching the Congress’s campaign for the Assembly election on Wednesday by addressing a rally of farmers in Rajkot.
“I want to ask the Delhi Sultanate what is the compulsion to allow this uncontrolled spending of money meant for the poor people of the country,” Modi said, adding, “Sonia Gandhi is getting all facilities like special flights, which are available only to the President and Prime Minister, from public funds though she is just an MP.”
“Has the Central Government by protocol given special status of ‘head of state’ to Sonia Gandhi?” he asked, “Wasn’t this money spent from the state exchequer? From the money spent there, we can produce electricity for the whole of Gujarat.”
Modi also urged farmers to ask Sonia Gandhi to give an explanation on why no drought relief package has been cleared for Gujarat’s Saurashtra region. “We had submitted a memorandum to the Central Government asking for an assistance of Rs 15,000 crore for scarcity relief,” Modi said, asking farmers to raise the issue with Sonia Gandhi.
The state unit of the Congress has selected Rajkot as the venue of the rally to be addressed by Sonia Gandhi as the area is worst affected due to this year’s poor rains and more than 15 farmers have committed suicide due to crop failure.