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Rudy's New Year trip kicks up controversy
February 09, 2004 14:26 IST
Civil Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy's New Year trip to Goa has turned into an election issue with opposition parties demanding his head and arrest for non-payment of hotel bills.
They also demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the matter. Rudy, however, said he asserted that he had not asked Airport Authority of India to foot the same.
Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said action must be taken against Rudy under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
"We demand Rudy's immediate dismissal, arrest and a thorough CBI probe in the entire matter involving the Civil Aviation Minister in the non-payment of his bills and asking AAI to pick up the bills for his family's five-day four-night stay in Taj Exotica in Goa," he said.
Rudy said in Patna that his visit to Goa from December 30, 2003 and January 2 this year was a 'personal' one and had not asked AAI to pay the bills.
The minister said he had not paid the bills as he was negotiating with the hotel authorities for rationalization of accommodation tariff.
The AAI issued a statement saying that on the expressed instructions of the office of the civil aviation minister it had not made any payment for Rudy's stay at Goa from December 30, 2003 to January 2, 2004.
The Airport Director in Goa has confirmed that he has received instructions from the office of the minister not to make any payment against accommodation charges that he has referred the bills to the minister's office for payment on January 23, 2004, it added.
More reports from Goa