Former President Pratibha Patil, after a controversy, had to give up on her post-retirement bungalow on a prime Pune plot. Now she may have to part with a set of gifts that she got during her tenure.
After her retirement in July, Patil had packed almost 40 truck-loads of gifts to send to a museum run by her family’s private trust in her home-town Amaravati.
But an RTI query, filed by Subhas Chandra Agarwal, showed that the President Secretariat has now asked her to return gifts to be kept at the official Toshkhana of Rashtrapati Bhavan. According to Agarwal, “The President Secretariat did not follow Toshakha rules in regard to gifts received by Pratibha Patil.”
Agarwal also demanded that an enquiry should be made and responsibility fixed on those who did not follow rules and allowed the transfer of gifts to a private trust. Patil’s family, however, claimed that they have not received any information from Rashtrapati Bhawan on this issue. Patil also courted controversy for spending Rs. 205 crore to visit 22 countries during her five year tenure. Her tour bill exceeded all the previous records of her predecessors.