Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Photo Credit: PTI)
An expenditure of Rs 446.52 crore has been incurred on the foreign visits of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last five year, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday. Responding to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said the expenditure includes cost of chartered flights.
According to the data given by him, a cost of Rs 121.85 crore was incurred in 2015-16 while an expenditure of Rs 78.52 crore was incurred in 2016-17. In 2017-18, a cost of Rs 99.90 crore was incurred while in 2018-19, an expenditure of Rs 100.02 crore was incurred, according to the data given by him.
In 2019-20, a cost of Rs 46.23 crore has been incurred on the prime minister’s foreign visits, it said.
Asserting that peace, harmony and unity are prerequisites for the country's development, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked BJP MPs to take lead in ensuring amity in society with their words, mind and deeds, remarks that come amid criticism of his government by the Opposition over Delhi riots.
Addressing the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi also took a dig at Congress leader Manmohan Singh, saying the former prime minister finds a "bad smell" even in a slogan like 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and looks at it with suspicion.
At a recent event, Singh had said the slogan of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' was being misused to construct a "militant and purely emotional" idea of India that excludes millions of residents and citizens.
Seizing on Singh's remarks, Modi said in the closed-door meeting that similar controversies were created over 'Vande Mataram' during the freedom struggle and singing it was considered a "gunah" (crime) with many people choosing to leave the meetings of the Congress when it was played, sources said quoting the prime minister.
"It is unfortunate and sad that 70 years after independence, raising a slogan like 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' is being depicted as a crime... It is unfortunate that a person who held the post of prime minister is saying so," Modi said, adding that every patriot will be pained with this.