Kailash Kanwar of Bhilwara Rajasthan filed an RTI with the external affairs ministry to know about the foreign visits National Advisory Council (NAC) chief and UPA head Sonia Gandhi undertook during the last two years but his application kept moving from ministry to ministry and even landed in NAC’s office, which replied back saying it has no information until it finally landed in Prime minister’s office (PMO). PMO is custodian of information relating to the expenditure incurred in functioning of NAC, but PMO also stated ‘no information in records’ in its reply.
While government seems to have no information on her foreign trips but it would be appropriate to recollect instances of Gandhi’s visits to foreign shores this year. In June Sonia took off for London and thereafter her native Italy. In August she went to New York for treatment of an undisclosed ailment.
It is important to note that this is not the first time that an RTI has been filed to seek information related to her foreign visits. An RTI filed by famous magazine India Today to seek information of foreign trips of personal nature by MPs was returned with the exception of no information on trips undertaken by the Gandhi family. It is courtesy’s call for MPs to disclose details of their personal travel to the Lok Sabha secretariat but reportedly the Gandhi duo have not done this. An RTI filed by Hisar-based Ramesh Verma met a similar fate in June when parliament affairs ministry told as reply that central government had not incurred any expenditure in the past ten years on any such visit. What is shocking is that CIC chief Satyananda Mishra noted how callously the RTI was handled and did rounds of ministry but this observation had no impact as this RTI filed by Kailash Kanwar shows.