Finally breaking its silence, the Prime Minister's Office today denied that the government had spent for UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi's treatment either abroad or in the country.
"The PMO would like to put on record that the government has incurred no expenses on UPA chairperson's visits abroad," a tweet from the PMO account said.
"The reports quoting an expense of Rs 1,880 crore are untrue and misleading," it said.
PMO statement on UPA chairperson's travel expenses: The reports quoting an expense of Rs. 1880 crore are untrue and misleading.
— Dr Manmohan Singh (@PMOIndia) अक्टूबर 5, 2012
The PMO also referred to the Central Information Commissioner report denying these reports.
"Expenses for her security contingent are borne by the Special Protection Group," a PMO statement said in an ensuing release.
"During the last eight 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," the statement said.
Response from the PMO came after Gujarat, Chief Minister, Narendra Modi on 1 October at an election rally in Jesar claimed that the exchequer spent Rs 1,880 crore on Gandhi's 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,” Modi said in his rally.
"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," the Gujarat chief minister said.
Modi said a response given by the government to an RTI application of a youth of Hisar in Harayana, published in a newspaper on 12 July this year, was the basis for his claim.
With PTI input