Modi asks PM to reveal expenditure on Sonia's treatment

Oct 03, 2012, 06:42 IST | Agencies

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi yesterday urged the government to reveal details of the expenditure incurred so far on Congress president Sonia Gandhi's treatment abroad.

Slamming the ruling party at the Centre for not sharing the expenses on her several foreign trips in the past few years, the CM wanted to know why they had not sued the daily that had published a report wherein it is mentioned that the bill for Sonia Gandhi’s frequent travels totals over Rs 1,800 crore.

Illustration/Satish Acharya

Addressing a meeting, Modi said, “This information came in July; I have taken up the issue in October, what were they doing for these months, why didn’t they rebut it all these months and if the news was wrong why did they not file a legal case?”

His reference was to the Congress leaders who had sought an apology from him for “lying” about their party chief. Modi pointed out that the RTI plea was submitted two-and-a-half years ago and the nation got to know about Sonia Gandhi’s illness much later.

“I read in a newspaper that Rs 1,880 crore was spent on her treatment.... if you want to shut Modi up then the government should give details about the money spent on her foreign travels from 2004 to 2012,” he stressed.

Taking another dig at the Congress, the CM noted that the party claims credit for bringing in the RTI Act but activists who send queries under it are not being provided the necessary details.

“The law says that the information should be given in three months but it has been more than two and a half years now, why is that the information is not being provided?” Modi wondered.

“In the name of humanity, I request the Prime Minister to spend as much money as needed for the treatment of Sonia Gandhi. But if people want to know the details of the expenses, should not the government give the details?” he said. “I am not posing a question to Sonia Gandhi. I am asking the PM how much money from the exchequer has been spent on Sonia Gandhi,” Modi added.

Apology is needed
The Congress said on Tuesday that Modi should apologise after the claims were proved to be untrue. “Modi should apologise to the nation and to the Gandhi family now that it is proved that his allegations on Soniaji’s foreign visits and her treatment abroad were wrong,” said Congress leader Rajiv Shukla.

Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari termed Modi’s remarks an attempt at gaining cheap publicity. “Whatever has been said is baseless and untrue,” he said.

When he was asked if the party would demand an apology from Modi, Tewari said Modi was sticking to the chair with glue and did not have the stature to tender an apology.

Modi trained by RSS in ‘Nazi tradition’: Digvijay
Congress’ Digvijay Singh has waged war against Gujarat strongman Narendra Modi over Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips. Digvijay took to Twitter as he attacked called Modi RSS’ cadre. “Sangh training to it’s cadre. Jhoot bolo zor se bolo aur baar baar bolo. Doesn’t it remind you of Hitler’s Goebbels ? (sic)” Digvijay tweeted. His tweets were followed by comments: “Sangh trains it’s cadre in disinformation campaign obviously Modi has been trained well ! Sangh has modelled itself in the Nazi tradition.”

Clarify spending on Sonia’s trips: Joshi 
BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi sought clarification from the UPA government on Gujarat CM Narendra Modi’s allegation that Rs 1,880 crore had been spent on Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips. “Modi has said something (on the government spending on Gandhi’s foreign trips). So the government should issue a statement,” Joshi said.

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