Centre spent Rs 1880 crore on Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips: Narendra Modi


JESAR, GUJARAT: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi today targeted Congress president Sonia Gandhi by claiming that Rs 1880 crore has been spent from the public exchequer on her foreign trips.

"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," he said addressing a rally as part of his month-long pre-election tour of the state.

Rs 1800 crores spent on Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips, claims Narendra Modi; wrong, says Congress

"This clearly means that more than the total yearly budget of Bhavnagar, Jamnagar, Junagadh and Rajkot Municipal Corporation combined has been spent only on the foreign trips of Sonia Gandhi and on her luxury hotel stays," he added. Modi said a response given by the government to an RTI application of a youth of Hisar in Harayana, published in a newspaper on July 12 this year, was the basis for his claim. And so far, he said, the report has not not been denied either by the government or Gandhi.

Reacting to the charges, Congress party dismissed as "falsehood" and "irresponsible" Modi's allegation.

Reminding the Gujarat chief minister of a complaint made by Congress MPs before the Chief Vigilance Commissioner about alleged scams worth Rs 1 lakh crore during Modi's tenure, party spokesperson Manish Tewari said" those living in glass houses do not pelt stones on others".

He dared Modi to face a court-monitored investigation into these allegations.

The war of words between Modi and Congress comes two days before Gandhi's visit to Rajkot on Ocotber 3 to address a rally in the poll-bound state.

Hitting back, Tewari said at the AICC briefing that "it is only symptomatic of his (Modi's frustration."

Maintaining that he does not want to dignify any such utterance and "falsehood" by reacting to the comments of the Gujarat chief minister, Tewari said it was "extremely unfortunate that the people occupied responsible positions make such irresponsible" statements."

"If you recall, a delegation of Congress MPs had gone to the Chief Vigilance Commissioner some time back alleging scams worth Rs 1 lakh crore during 11 years of Modi's tenure. If the Gujarat chief minister has the courage to explore the truth, he should offer himself to a court-monitored investigation into these allegations," Tewari said.

Sonia Gandhi will be launching Congress campaign for the state elections on coming Wednesday by addressing a huge rally of farmers in Rajkot. This will be the first visit of Gandhi in the poll-bound state.
"I want to ask the Delhi Sultanate what is the compulsion that they have to allow this uncontrolled spending of poor people of the country," Modi said.

Modi alleged that Sonia Gandhi was getting all those facilities like a special flight, which are available only to the President and Prime Minister, from public funds though she was just an MP.

"Has the Central government by protocol given special status of head of state to Sonia Gandhi?" he asked adding, "Wasn't this money spent from the state exchequer? From the money spent there, we can produce electricity for the whole Gujarat State." Modi also called upon farmers to ask Gandhi to given an explanation on why no drought relief package has been cleared for Gujarat's Saurashtra region.

"We had submitted a memorandum to the Central government asking for an assistance of Rs 15,000 crore for scarcity relief," Modi said adding that farmers should raise the issue when Congress president is coming to the state.

Congress has selected Rajkot as the venue of the rally to be held by Gandhi, as the area is worst affected due to scanty rains and more than 15 farmers have committed suicide due to crop failure.

Congress plans to hold a massive farmer rally in Race Course Ground of Gujarat on October 3 in presence of Gandhi. State Congress president Arjun Modhwadia is already camping in Rajkot to make the farmers' rally of Gandhi a success.

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