Modi continues tirade against Sonia, attacks PM too

Kutch: Continuing his tirade against the Congress president, Narendra Modi on Friday said Sonia Gandhi "defamed" Gujarat with her statement that there had been no development in the state after he became the Chief Minister. He also attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for allegedly misguiding the country about Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips.

Modi's allegation came on a day when the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement saying the government did not spend money on the overseas visits of the UPA chairperson or on her medical treatment and rubbished  his  earlier claim that the government had spent Rs 1,880 crore on her travels.

Modi attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on misguiding the country about Sonia Gandhi's foreign trips.

Quoting RTI replies from Indian embassies, Modi  said,  "The Prime Minister is misguiding the country. I ask the Prime Minister as a common man to come clean.. The RTI reply received from various Indian embassies abroad says lakhs of rupees were spent on Soniaji's foreign trips," Modi said.

Addressing a huge campaign rally, Modi said Ramesh Sharma, a youth from Hisar had got some information from Indian embassies. "The PM, in a statement today, said only Rs 3 lakh were spent on her travels abroad," Modi said, adding that the RTI replies revealed that lakhs of rupees were spent.

"Sonia Gandhi's visit to London twice in 2007 and 2011 -- the money spent was Rs 2.82 lakh and Rs 35 lakh respectively. Her two trips to China -- money spent was Rs 14 lakh and Rs 12 lakh respectively," he said, reading from the RTI replies. He went on to give names of other countries she had visited and the expenditures incurred.

The Chief Minister further said he had never sought the details of medical treatment expenses of Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, he also said Sonia Gandhi in her speech has defamed Gujarat.

"Soniaji, in her recent visit to Rajkot, said there has been no development in Gujarat after Modi came to power. This is an outright attempt to defame Gujarat," Modi said addressing `Swami Vivekananda Yuva Vikas Yatra' (his campaign tour for Assembly polls) in Bhachau town of Kutch district.

"I ask Madam Soniaji to tell your advisers in Gujarat to at least speak the truth and give you correct information," Modi said.

"The Rajiv Gandhi Foundation, run by Gandhi family, and of which Soniaji is the president, has said that Gujarat has progressed well among the states," he said.

"You are president of the foundation, you should have known that. Why are you spreading lies and trying to mislead the people of the state? If you oppose us due to political reasons that is fine, but we hope you won't spread lies. I don't know what the state Congress leaders told the Madam," he said.

Gandhi, in her rally at Rajkot, tore into the Modi government, listing its failures on issues ranging from Narmada water, farmer suicides to atrocities on Dalits.

With inputs from PTI