The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday alleged that instead of coming clear on whether expenses for United Progressive Alliance Chairperson Sonia Gandhi's travel and treatment were paid from public exchequer and what was the amount spent, Congress is diverting attention by saying the opposition is raising issues about her health.
"We condemn the Congress party's approach in diverting and adding issues which have not been raised by Gujarat Chief Minister (Narendra Modi). He has very clearly quoted media sources and raised a question. If you are genuinely interested in answering the question, you would say what was the amount spent," BJP spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman said.
Modi had on Monday alleged that according to a media report, Rs 1,880 crore were spent on travel and treatment of Gandhi. However, the Gujarat Chief Minister had offered to tender a public apology hours after making the allegation if his charge was found to be false.
"If it was not Rs 1,880 crore, then what was it, just say. If money was not spent from public exchequer, say so. What stops you from answering this question," Sitharaman told reporters.
She alleged that Congress is resorting to diversionary tactics to evade answering these questions. "We also give good wishes for the health of Sonia Gandhi but if expenses were paid from the public treasury, please clarify," the BJP spokesperson said.
The Congress has dismissed Modi's charge as 'falsehood' and said it is regrettable that the Gujarat chief minister has resorted to blatant lies which now stand exposed after the revelations of Hisar-based Right to Information activist Ramesh Sharma.
"The figures Mr Modi has given today is Rs 1,800 crore. The government has not given any response to it. I never got any such information from the RTI I had filed. I have not got any figure of Rs 1800 crore. I don't know from where Mr Modi is referring to it," Verma had said from Hisar.
Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari has said Modi had made the allegation to divert the attention of the people of Gujarat from the real issues confronting the state.
"The reality is that the CM of Gujarat has no answer to the charges made by the MPs of Gujarat in a representation to CVC that Rs 1 lakh crores have been plundered over the past 11 years in 17 different scams," Tewari has said.
Sitharaman said, "Do not go by your usual method of getting nervous when you are asked an uncomfortable question. On 2G spectrum scam, you said there was zero loss, and today Rs 14,000 crore has been fixed as the base price for it. In Coalgate, you said there was no loss as coal is still in mother earth."
BJP alleged that whenever the Congress is pushed against the wall and is facing an uncomfortable situation, it tries to divert attention of the public.
"But today people want an answer and it is high time Congress does not divert and answer it," Sitharaman said. She alleged that since Congress is finding it difficult to come clear on this matter it is raising questions and saying it is a personal matter.