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 Right to Information (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,” Mr. Modi claimed.
Mr. Modi’s fresh allegation came on a day when the Prime Minister’s Office issued a statement saying the government had not spent money on overseas visits of the United Progressive Alliance chairperson or on her medical treatment and rubbished Mr. Modi’s earlier claim that the government had spent Rs. 1,880 crore on her travels.
Addressing a huge campaign rally here, Mr. Modi said Ramesh Sharma, a youth from Hisar, had got some information from Indian embassies.
“The PM, in a statement today [Friday], said only Rs. 3 lakh was spent on her travels abroad,” Mr. Modi said.
“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 the names of other countries she had visited and the expenditures incurred.
The Chief Minister further said he had never sought the details of the medical treatment expenses of Ms. Gandhi.