Pratibha Patil's presidential 'gifts' land her in trouble

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Pratibha Patil
Amravati, Aug 2: Former President Pratibha Patil is no stranger to controversies. Controversies seem to be following her even after her exit from the Rashtrapathi Bhavan after her tenure as President ended. This time around she is in the news after she took away some of the expensive gifts she received during her tenure as President to her hometown in Amravati. This move is considered a deviance from the norm as per constitutional experts.

Patil is understood to have received as many as 150 'expensive' gifts during her Presidential tenure that included a 'gift' from US president Barack Obama and an exquisite miniature gold-plated model of the Golden Temple at Amritsar.

The plan is to move the gifts to a museum at the Vidyabharti College in Amravati. The college functions under a trust run by Patil's family. According to sources, the trust has signed a MoU with the Presidential estate in this matter.

The museum currently under construction will showcase Patil's political journey and is expected to be opened to the public by December. The college administration also intends to charge a fee for the same.

The Officer on Special Duty to the former president has brushed aside controversy and claimed that the 150 odd gifts she received as President were on a loan and can be taken back by the President's estate any time.

Sushabh Kashyap, a Constitutional expert has been quoted as saying to media channels, "Gifts received by the President go to the 'tosha khana' and are a property of the State and the people of the country."

As per convention, the outgoing President does not take anything along with them. Patil was embroiled in controversy earlier when her foreign trips and her "grabbing defence land" grabbed headlines.

OneIndia News

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