Slamming Narendra Modi's claim that public funds were spent on travel and treatment abroad of Sonia Gandhi, Congress today said it was a "white lie" and had revealed BJP's "cheap intentions", but sidestepped questions on the expenses involved and who incurred them.
Modi offers apology if charges against Sonia's foreign trips proved wrong
"Whatever has been said in the public space is completely untrue, false and a white lie and time will tell that what we have said today is completely true," Congress spokesman Manish Tewari told reporters when asked as to how much money was spent for the purpose and by whom.
Party general secretary Digvijaya Singh hit out at Modi saying he has been trained well by RSS in the "Nazi tradition" of false propaganda and BJP's "cheap intentions" have been proved by trying to politicise a health issue.
In his posts on the microblogging site Twitter, Singh said, "Sangh trains it's cadre in disinformation campaign. Obviously Modi has been trained well! Sangh has modelled itself in the Nazi tradition.
"Sangh training to it's cadre. Jhoot bolo zor se bolo aur baar baar bolo (Tell a lie, tell it loudly and tell it hundred times). Doesn't it remind you of Hitler's Goebbels?"
Digvijaya Singh said the incident "establishes the motive of BJP and Narendra Modi, their malafide cheap intentions. They want to politicise even an issue like health".
The Congress President had gone thrice abroad in last more than a year for treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
Modi and BJP on Tuesday demanded that government make public information on expenses incurred on Congress president's foreign trips, a day after the Gujarat chief minister made the allegation about a large expenditure being incurred on Gandhi's foreign trips but the figures were contested by the RTI applicant who had been cited by the BJP leader.
The war of words has erupted between BJP and Congress as Gandhi is all set to virtually launch the assembly poll campaign of the party in Gujarat at a farmers' rally in Rajkot district on Wednesday.
"If it was not Rs. 1,880 crore, then what was it, just say. If money was not spent from public exchequer, say so. What stops you from answering this question," BJP spokesman Nirmala Sitharaman said as the party stood by Modi. RTI activist rejects Modi's claim on Sonia bill
Reacting sharply to Modi's claims, Tewari lamented the "low road" taken by the Gujarat chief minister.
"Some people take such a low road so far as their politics is concerned. They go down to such a level. It shows both their mindset and character", he said.
Seeking to turn the table on Modi, he said that the real issue before the people of Gujarat is about alleged embezzelment of Rs. one lakh crore from state exchequer in 17 scams which has been documented and submitted to the Central Vigilance Commissioner by the MPs from the state. Gujarat govt not disclosing Modi's travel expenses: RTI activist
"If the chief minister has the courage of his conviction, he should suo motu go for a court monitored investigation. People of Gujarat are entitled to know about the financial misdemeanaurs. The tall development claims are nothing but a castle of sand," he alleged and added that the BJP and Modi should realise that one cannot do politics through "lies, falsehood and rumours."