PM misguiding nation on Sonia trips: Modi

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 06, 2012 10:15 hrs

Jamnagar: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is 'misguiding' the country on Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi's foreign trip expenses.

"The Prime Minister is misguiding the country," Modi said while addressing a rally in Jamnagar.

"I am asking the Prime Minister as a common man to come clean," he said.

He said a Hisar youth, Ramesh Sharma, got some information on the issue from the Indian embassies.

"The RTI (Right to Information) reply that has been received from different Indian embassies abroad mentioned that lakhs of rupees were spent on Soniaji's foreign trips," Modi said.

Reading from the RTI replies, the senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said, "Sonia Gandhi's visited London twice in 2007 and 2011. The money that was spent was Rs. 2.82 lakh and Rs. 35 lakh respectively."

"Money spent on her two trips to China was 14 lakh and Rs. 12 lakh respectively," he said.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday trashed allegations that Rs 1880 crore was spent on the foreign trips of Gandhi, an issue raked up by Modi to attack her.

In a press statement, the PMO said: "Media reports quoting certain quarters about massive expenses from the Exchequer on UPA Chairperson's Overseas visits have been brought to the notice of the Prime Minister's Office.

"The reports quoting an expense of Rs. 1880 crore are untrue and misleading."

The Central Information Commissioner has already denied these reports and made a statement, said the PMO.

"The Prime Minister's Office would like to put on record that the Government has incurred no expenses on UPA Chairperson's visits abroad. Expenses for her security contingent are borne by the Special Protection Group," it said.

"During the last 8 years only one trip to Belgium undertaken at the invitation of the Belgian Government to receive a national honour was paid for by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations. The total cost was less than Rs. 3 lakhs," said the PMO.

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