Even as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi refuses to yield over allegations that public money to the tune of Rs 1,880 crore was spent on Congress Sonia Gandhi's trips for medical treatment abroad, the Chief Information Commissioner had earlier noted that the government of India had not spent any money on it.
CNN-IBN reported that Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra had replied to a Right to Information (RTI) query by one Naveen Kumar of Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) in May, in which the authority said that the Congress president had paid for her medical treatment and no government funds were used.
"From the submissions made by the Respondents, it was quite clear that neither any reimbursement for any such expenditure had been claimed by the individual concerned from these public authorities nor any expenditure made in this regard. In other words, till now, the government has incurred no expenditure in this regard," Mishra said in his reply.
The RTI plea had sought the details of the expenditure on Gandhi's treatment last year. The petition was sent to the Prime Minister's Office, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, National Advisory Council and the Lok Sabha Secretariat.
The CIC order came after hearing the petitioner and government representatives and had dismissed the petition stating that an individual's expenditure did not come under RTI.
The Gujarat Chief Minister has quoted a newspaper report, that had claimed to be based on an RTI application, in order to make his sensational claim. He had even offered to apologise in the event that he was proven wrong.
While Congress spokespersons have criticised Modi for his statements, the Gujarat Chief Minister has been backed by his party. Congress president Sonia Gandhi has chosen to ignore the statements so far, and made no comments on it barring a passing reference to it in her rally in Rajkot today.
"There are many attacks that have been made against us in the past. But we didn't consider them then and won't consider them in future," Gandhi said at the rally, refusing to acknowledge Modi's statements.