Modi on Monday, Oct 1 stated that Rs 1,880 crore was spent on Mrs Gandhi's abroad tour and treatment and he also pointed that his source of information was a newspaper, though he did not reveal the name of the daily. The CM's statement stormed the country following which Modi asserted that he will apologise to the Congress supremo if his statement is proved false.
Clarifying his stand on the controversy, Modi said, "I had said this thing based on the report of a newspaper. It's been 4 months since the report came out in the paper, in spite of which the govt has not clarified anything on it, neither did they deny anything, the Congress party was silent, Soniaji and her family remained silent, the government remained silent, had they given a statement denying this the whole debate would not have started. If my information is proved to be wrong even if its source is a newspaper, then I will accept in public that I have made a mistake."
However, experts believe that Modi has cornered Congress and its president with his apology mantra. Congress, who has so far denied to reveal the actual cost and expenditure spent on Mrs Gandhi's treatment and visit to abroad, now has been forced to declare that amount if they want to prove Modi wrong.
According to experts, Modi's conditional apology to Mrs Gandhi could be a trap for Congress. Earlier on Monday, Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy too joined the bandwagon after tweeting, "Narendra Modified has disclosed that Rs 1880 crores were spent by Sonia on her US medical treatment. Who paid? PIL coming soon."
The newspaper report, from which Modi got information on Mrs Gandhi, is believed to have gathered information through a Right to Information (RTI) applicant based in Haryana.
However, when Ramesh Verma, the well-known RTI activist from the state, was contacted, he stated, "I never got any information from the RTI. I don't know where Narendra Modi got this information. I did not give any interview and facts to anyone. Nobody has contacted me yet. I think Modi should give clarification on it."