PMO denies footing Sonia trip bill

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 05, 2012 13:33 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IBNS) The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on Friday trashed allegations that Rs 1880 crore was spent on the foreign trips of Congress supremo Sonia Gandhi, an issue raked up by Gujarat chief minister Narendera 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 PMO.

"It is further clarified that the Government has not borne any expenses for UPA Chairperson´s medical treatment abroad and in India," said the PMO.

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had launched an offensive against Sonia Gandhi over his travel expenses.

Modi quoted reports in media to allege that the Centre spent Rs 1880 crore on Gandhi´s foreign trips.

The senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader made the claims by citing a report published in a local newspaper that stated the expenditure on Gandhi´s trips was revealed through Right to Information (RTI) applicant Ramesh Verma based in Haryana.

Verma, however, said the details attributed to him by Modi were not correct since he never got the information from the government he had demanded.

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