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Oct 01, 2012 at 07:24pm IST

Modi attacks Sonia, says she spent Rs 1880 cr on foreign trips

Ahmedabad: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday launched a fresh attack on UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, accusing her of wasting the public money over her foreign trips. Speaking exclusively to CNN-IBN, Modi demanded an explanation on the medical bills of Sonia Gandhi.

He said, "A large amount of money has been spent in the short span of three years. An amount of Rs 1880 crore, almost Rs 2000 crore, were spent. And I am not quoting media reports here. This has been revealed by an RTI plea."

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader further explained that even as he was in favour of development, he was strongly opposed to foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail. Modi asserted that according to him, sacrificing the small traders of India would not improve the economy of the country.

Relating his stand to that of US President Barack Obama, Modi said, "People consider America and Obama forward looking. And yet, Obama has tweeted asking Americans to support small businesses and avoid malls."

Continuing his attack on the UPA government, the BJP leader accused it of misusing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) when in trouble. Modi said, "Whenever the Centre is in trouble, the CBI is misused and political parties are targeted to garner votes," pointing that even the Supreme Court had also passed harsh strictures against the investigating agency.

When asked about his prime ministerial ambitions and a vocal opposition to it from Bihar Chief Minister and NDA ally Nitish Kumar, Modi claimed that he was concerned only about Gujarat and its future. While skirting the question on his position after the Lok Sabha elections in 2014 if his party had the numbers, Modi said that his focus would continue to remain on Gujarat.

"I am only concerned about Gujarat and its future. In the Assembly elections, my focus will continue to remain on Gujarat," said the BJP strongman.

Later, answering a question on whether his former home minister Amit Shah, an accused in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case who has returned to Gujarat following relief from a court, would get a ticket in the Assembly elections, Modi remained evasive it was not his call.

"I do not decide who contests elections. This decision is taken by the BJP central parliamentary board and they have not discussed anything with us yet," said the Gujarat Chief Minister.