Govt refutes Narendra Modi’s allegations, says didn’t pay for Sonia’s foreign visits


New Delhi: The Prime Minister's Office on Friday rubbished the claim by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that Rs 1,880 crore were spent on overseas visits of UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, saying it was "untrue and misleading". 

The PMO underlined that the government had spent no money on Gandhi's overseas visits or her medical treatment abroad or in India. 

"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 1,880 crore are untrue and misleading," the PMO said in a statement. 

It did not name Modi who had raked up the claim but was clearly referring to it. 

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

"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. 

The PMO said that 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. 

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

Modi had made the claim citing an RTI reply but the RTI applicant had said the figure quoted by the Gujarat Chief Minister was grossly wrong. 

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