PM misleading nation on Sonia visits funding: Modi

Friday, October 05, 2012, 23:58

Jamnagar: A more combative Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday night accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of misleading the country on the issue of Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips, quoting RTI replies from Indian embassies.

“The Prime Minister is misguiding the country. I ask the Prime Minister as a common man to come clean….The RTI reply received from various Indian embassies abroad says lakhs of rupees were spent on Soniaji’s foreign trips,” Modi claimed.

statement saying government had not spent money on overseas visits of the UPA chairperson or on her medical treatment and rubbished Modi’s earlier claim that government had spent Rs 1,880 crore on her travels.

Addressing a huge campaign rally here tonight, Modi said Ramesh Sharma, a youth from Hisar, had got some information from Indian embassies.

“The PM, in a statement today, said only Rs 3 lakh were spent on her travels abroad,” Modi said, adding that RTI replies revealed that lakhs of rupees were spent.

“Sonia Gandhi’s visit to London twice in 2007 and 2011 — the money spent was Rs 2.82 lakh and Rs 35 lakh respectively. Her two trips to China — money spent was Rs 14 lakh and Rs 12 lakh respectively,” he said, reading from the RTI replies.

He went on to give names of other countries she had visited and the expenditures incurred.

The Chief Minister further said he had never sought the details of medical treatment expenses of Sonia Gandhi.


Govt refutes Narendra Modi’s allegations, says didn’t pay for Sonia’s foreign visits

New Delhi: The Prime Minister’s Office on Friday rubbished the claim by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that Rs 1,880 crore were spent on overseas visits of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, saying it was “untrue and misleading”.

The PMO underlined that the government had spent no money on Gandhi’s overseas visits or her medical treatment abroad or in India.

“Media reports quoting certain quarters about massive expenses from the exchequer on UPA chairperson’s overseas visits have been brought to the notice of the Prime Minister’s Office. The reports quoting an expense of Rs 1,880 crore are untrue and misleading,” the PMO said in a statement.

It did not name Modi who had raked up the claim but was clearly referring to it.

“The Central Information Commissioner has already denied these reports and made a statement,” the statement said.

“The Prime Minister’s Office would like to put on record that the Government has incurred no expenses on UPA chairperson’s visits abroad. Expenses for her security contingent are borne by the Special Protection Group,” it said.

The PMO said that during the last 8 years, only one trip to Belgium undertaken at the invitation of the Belgian Government to receive a national honour was paid for by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The total cost was less than Rs 3 lakhs.

“It is further clarified that the Government has not borne any expenses for UPA chairperson’s medical treatment abroad and in India,” the statement said.

Modi had made the claim citing an RTI reply but the RTI applicant had said the figure quoted by the Gujarat Chief Minister was grossly wrong.


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