Narendra Modi's charges: Sonia Gandhi gets clean chit?

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Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Oct 3: Days after Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's charges against her, it seems that Sonia Gandhi received relief as Central Information Commission (CIC) gave a clean chit to her and to UPA government.

The CIC chief Satyananda Mishra on Wednesday, Oct 3 stated that CIC in its letter, issued on May 3 2012, had clarified that Mrs Gandhi herself bore all expenses over her treatment abroad and UPA government did not pay for her treatment abroad.

The CIC letter was issued as a reply to an Right to Information (RTI) query by an activist Naveen Kumar of Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh. Responding to queries regarding Mrs Gandhi's treatment cost controversies, Mr Mishra said, "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."

Mr Mishra also added, "In any case, the expenditure made by any individual on her treatment, in India or abroad, is a private information and cannot be the subject matter of an RTI application."

The activist had sent an RTI query asking about total expenditure spent on Mrs Gandhi's treatment in US between Aug-Sep 2011. The letter was sent to various government departments including Prime Minister Office (PMO), Ministry of External Affairs and many others.

Controversy over UPA Chairperson's treatment cost surfaced when Gujarat CM criticised UPA Government saying that it had spent Rs 1,880 crore on Mrs Gandhi's treatment and foreign tours. Later Modi also claimed that he would apologise to Mrs Gandhi if his statements proved wrong.

The CM also urged the government to reveal details of the expenditure incurred so far on Congress president's treatment abroad. 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."

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