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Priyanka Gandhi Raises Questions over Funding of Panel Formed to Oversee Trump's Gujarat Visit

Workers move out of Sardar Patel Stadium, commonly known as Motera Stadium, which will host 'Namaste Trump' event during US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to Ahmedabad on Saturday. (PTI)

Workers move out of Sardar Patel Stadium, commonly known as Motera Stadium, which will host 'Namaste Trump' event during US President Donald Trump's maiden visit to Ahmedabad on Saturday. (PTI)

Tagging a media report on Twitter, the Congress leader wondered what the government is "hiding under the guise" of the committee that has been formed to oversee programmes during US President Donald Trump's Ahmedabad visit.

  • PTI
  • Last Updated: February 22, 2020, 6:41 PM IST
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New Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Saturday raised questions over the funding of the committee formed to oversee various programmes during US President Donald Trump's Ahmedabad visit on February 24.

Tagging a media report on Twitter, she wondered what the government is "hiding under the guise" of the committee.

"Rs 100 crore is being spent on the visit of President Trump. But this money is being spent through a committee. The members of the committee do not know that they are its members. Does the country not have the right to know which ministry gave how much money to the committee? What is the government hiding under the guise of the committee?" the Congress general secretary tweeted.

The Congress also took a swipe at the 'Donald Trump Nagrik Abhinandan Samiti' with a parody advertisement on its official Twitter handle.

The poster read 'hiring now' for job of "waving at US President Donald Trump". It also said that the vacancies were 69 lakh and remuneration would be "achche din".

"69 lakh vacancies of the 2 crore promised by Modi ji have been announced. Apply now. Hurry!" the party said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, the committee headed by Ahmedabad Mayor Bijal Patel held its first meeting at the Circuit House in Ahmedabad on Saturday.

The formation of the committee, first announced as Donald Trump Nagarik Abhivadan Samiti by Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, had drawn flak from the Congress.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to explain who all are in this Samiti.

"Dear P.M, Intriguing news from @MEAIndia ! Pl state- 1. Who is the President of Donald Trump Abhinandan Samiti? 2. When was the invitation extended to U.S President & accepted? 3. Why is President Trump then saying you have promised him a grand event with 7 million people?" Surjewala had tweeted.

"Why is Gujarat Govt then spending 120 Crore for a 3 hour event organized by an unknown Pvt entity? India values its visiting dignitaries but pl note- Diplomacy is serious govt business & not a series of photo-ops & event management tactics," he added.

The Congress had said the Trump visit should not become an extension of the US presidential election campaign but yield concrete results for India.

Hitting back, the BJP said on Saturday that Trump's visit will be a landmark moment in Indo-US relations and the Congress should "start taking pride in the nation's achievements"

Addressing a press conference at the BJP headquarters here, party spokesperson Sambit Patra asked the Congress why it was unhappy when the country's stature is being raised.

"This is a meeting of the world's largest and oldest democracies and it should be celebrated," he said. "There are times when political parties should keep aside their identities and think as one nation," he said.

Queried on the Congress' objection to the committee, chairperson Bijal Patel said, "Such allegations are baseless."


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