For all the noise about her travel bills not once has Sonia Gandhi ever stepped up and answered these questions herself. It’s mostly cronies in the media like Arnab and Rajdeep Sardesai and others defending her. Then she has some foot soldiers like Manish Tiwari or Rajiv Shukla who can kick and scream but hardly have an answer. Cleverly (as usual), our media morons made the story of one of BJP Vs Congress instead of a scrutiny of the real issues.
Remember Simon Denyer? Remember how many times some media crooks flashed his apology for his “MMS Tragic failure” article? We have a Johny-come-lately with the Narendra Modi statements on Sonia’s travel expenses. Javed Ansari of India Today group, tweeted Modi had expressed regret. In another tweet to his own colleague he claims the Editor who published the 1880 crores story denies it. Denies it? No Ansari dear, unless you’re a reflexive liar like Digvijay Singh, the article was indeed published. He didn’t and cannot deny something already published and now seen by the whole world. All he asked was why only his paper was being mentioned when many papers carried the same story.
That’s a good question. Why pick on only Yashwant Shah and his “Jayhind” paper. The paper hardly has any circulation or readership. Why not pick on Saamna which is reported to have carried the same report in November? Oooh.. that would mean stepping on the Tiger’s tail. Wouldn’t it? Then who wants ShivSena in media offices breaking and smashing stuff. Loudmouth Arnab asks Rajiv Shukla if Congress will sue Modi for defamation. Shukla says they will consider it but will wait for Modi to apologise. This comic duo could star in a ‘Dumb & Dumber’ remake. Sue a guy for quoting from a newspaper? Is SoniaG some Goddess that seeking information about her is blasphemy? Is her illness relevant to the public? Is her travel, the expenses on it and other travels relevant to the public? Undeniably, YES!
Ever worked for a business or employed someone? Wasn’t there a form that required you to disclose any ailments? The reason is not to disqualify or discriminate but to know if the ailment would in any way affect the work one is recruited to do. Sonia Gandhi has been elected to do a job for people. Sonia has been employed by thousands of people to represent their interests and work for them. She is an employee of the people who pay her salary. Shouldn’t they know if she is medically fit? If any sportsman is selected to represent India, wouldn’t you be outraged if it was found he or she was medically unfit or on drugs? As for the expenses directly on her health, those need not be disclosed unless public money was used. Why should it require so many debates and for Modi to provide any evidence or to even dispute the veracity of a newspaper report? Once again the media crooks forgot what their job is. You have to admire them for ‘consistency’ though, in failing in their jobs.
Here are edited excerpts from an India Today article from July 2011:
Early in June this year.. Sonia Gandhi took off for London and her native Italy as political heat from civil society activists over black money and corruption soared in the Capital. In mid-June.. Rahul Gandhi ushered in his 41st birthday in London and topped up with a Swiss holiday. Both Sonia and Rahul's trips were widely documented in the media but the Lok Sabha secretariat has no information on them. It's common courtesy for MPs to inform the (Lok Sabha) secretariat about trips abroad, even if they are of a personal nature. But since June 2004, the month UPA came to power, the Congress president and her son have not bothered to inform the secretariat about any of their foreign trips.
Er.. Sonia and Rahul’s trips were “widely documented”? That’s an outright LIE and sheer nonsense! If you recall, J. Jayalalitha was in Delhi in June 2011 and the media even reported she might meet SoniaG. At the time our media had no clue if SoniaG was in Delhi or someplace else. India Today writes the article much later. That’s how the media fooled people then or were fooled themselves. Reports abound of SoniaG’s large entourage on her travels, even financial advisers. Who pays all the expenses? Here’s more from the same article:
When India Today filed an application under the RTI Act to the LS secretariat asking for details of personal foreign travel made by MPs since the 14th Lok Sabha, it furnished relevant information for lawmakers other than the Gandhis. The reply…was, "This secretariat attends to work relating to official visits of Indian parliamentary delegations going abroad and maintains record of foreign travel of members of the LS in their personal capacity if such travel is intimated by them to the Speaker's office." India Today filed another RTI query specifically asking how many intimations/requests the LS secretariat received regarding the foreign travels of Sonia and Rahul during the 14th and 15th Lok Sabhas. The response… on July 4 was: "Nil." Even official foreign travel details of the Gandhis are a mystery”.
Nil? Sibal? Now, were all travels of SoniaG and RahulG of a private nature and not paid by GOI? Rajiv Shukla, on TimesNow, kept talking about bills relating to Sonia’s treatment while cleverly avoiding the issue of her travels and travel expenses. Who paid those bills? That’s what concerns the public. Even if the travels were of a private nature it is important for the public to know who our MPs and MLAs meet during their foreign tours. It concerns information relating to national interest and security. Still, exactly five years ago SoniaG was at the UN giving a speech on October 2 being declared a day of “Non-violence” in memory of Mahatma Gandhi. Nice, isn’t it? What’s in a name, did that guy say? We had the greatest scholar on Gandhiji’s life and work giving that speech at the UN.
Now, on October 3, the CIC made an announcement that all medical treatment expenses were paid for by SoniaG privately. Surprisingly, why is the CIC making this announcement now as reported? According to TOI, his order on the RTI query of Sonia’s medical expenses was made in May 2012. Since that query has been already attended to the only purpose of media-screaming about that is to distort facts. Those who raised the question of 1880 crores would surely be aware of the May 2012 CIC report on the medical issue. CNN-IBN and other media channels promptly flashed and relayed the news over and over again as if the 1880 issue has been resolved. Clever, very clever! This is how media lies and distorts issues.
The 1880Cr is not about the treatment but about the travel bills of SoniaG and her entourage. Now, were the travels specifically for those treatments considered? One can incur 20 lakhs on travel and just 2 lakhs on actual hospital bills. In such a case the 20 lakhs should also be seen as being spent towards treatment because the travel would otherwise not be undertaken. Is the GOI saying the 2 lakhs were spent by SoniaG or the 22 lakhs were spent by her? This trickery needs examination. This is the question media should be asking. The question on travels hasn’t been answered. Who paid for SoniaG’s travels and what is the correct amount of her travel expenses, her places of travel and the purposes. CNN-IBN can now officially use Digvijaya Singh’s face as their logo. Any number of lies can be peddled under that image.
Here’s a report by CNN-IBN on Sonia’s speech at the UN in 2007. “Don’t reduce Gandhi to a mere ritual” she says. Ah well, sounds funny coming from a person who lives a closed-book life, whose travels and health issues are such a big secret from the public, who refuses to even speak to the media. She is indeed living Gandhiji’s life, isn’t she? Hell, never mind. How did she get to the UN though? Was this a personal affair too? Was this a party affair? She wasn’t alone. She was accompanied by RahulG, Pranab Mukherjee and Anand Sharma. Were these guys also on a personal trip? How come then that the LS secretariat refused information to India Today about this trip?
Ever taken a flight? If you find your seat with tea, coffee or food stains, you might not think their house-keeping is bad. You would probably wonder if the aircraft’s engines are in good condition and if the aircraft is safe. What then is so different about the leader of a national party? If information on her health is required it is because the nation wants to know if the party and the govt are in good hands and in good condition. It is not about any one individual. Her employers, the people, have a right to know if she is in good medical condition and receiving good treatment and is medically fit for her job. All that the govt needs to do is put out her travel expenses and confirm the amount if it was spent from public funds. If it was spent from private money, the govt needs to issue a press release stating that too. The nonsensical statements of Manish Tiwari, Rajiv Shukla and Digvijaya Singh notwithstanding, this information cannot be hidden anymore.
Given the frequency with which SoniaG and her family travels abroad for health or other reasons the UPA should regularly issue travel and health bulletins. Someone must remind both the Congress and Sonia Gandhi that she is employed by the people, not by some private party.