Oct 032012

NEW DELHI: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi’s demand for making public National Advisory Council chief Sonia Gandhi’s treatment and travel expenses has brought to the fore a grand irony: It was the NAC which played midwife to the Right to Information Act in India, yet Gandhi’s expenses are in the grey zone of the Act. No ministry seems to know the real expense incurred on the NAC chairman.

Modi had on Monday alleged that 1,880 crore was spent on travel and treatment of Gandhi. However, he offered to tender a public apology if he was wrong about the figure, but only once the government makes a full disclosure. “I say the government should spend as much amount as is required for treatment of Sonia Gandhi. We are for humanitarian cause. I would like to tell the prime minister to spend as much amount of money as needed but if people want to know the details of the expenses, should not the government give details? Is it not the right of the people to know how much of their money is being spent? I am not questioning Sonia Gandhi. I am asking the PM how much money from the exchequer has been spent on Sonia Gandhi,” Modi said.

RTI activist Ramesh Sharma said, “the figures Modi has given is 1,880 crore. The government has not given any response to it. I never got any such information from the RTI I had filed. I have not got any figure of 1,880 crore. I don’t know where Modi is referring to it,” Sharma had said from Hisar.

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