An RTI activist has refuted Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s allegation that a response to his application revealed that UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips in the last three years cost the public exchequer Rs 1,880 crore.
“The cost to the exchequer is Rs 82,84,434 (Rs 82.84 lakh) and not Rs 1,880 crore as claimed by Narendra Modi,” said Hisar-based RTI activist Ramesh Verma.
Modi said at a rally in Saurashtra on Monday, “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?”
Modi’s allegation came two days ahead of Gandhi’s daylong visit to Rajkot district in the Saurashtra region on October 3 to launch her party’s campaign for the forthcoming state polls. Dismissing Modi’s allegation, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said in New Delhi, “It is extremely unfortunate that people who occupy responsible offices make such irresponsible utterances. It is only symptomatic of their frustration and we don’t want to dignify any such utterance and every such falsehood by a reaction.”
Gujarat government spokesperson Jaynarayan Vyas refused to comment on the matter.
Activist Verma added: “I had sought the information through the RTI on the cost incurred on the public exchequer by Sonia Gandhi’s foreign trips. As I encountered several obstacles in the government furnishing the required information, I later gathered it through the Indian missions located abroad.”
With HTC Ahmedabad, New Delhi