The BJP Saturday clarified that neither the US nor "any" state
government in India sponsored the visit of the US business leaders delegation
that met Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi this week. At the
same time it said that "raising funds" through such visits is a
norm in the United States.
"In US, nothing comes for free. Even dinners hosted by President
Obama are charged at $60,000- 70,000 per plate. Arranging business
delegations and hosting dinners is an acceptable part of fund
raising in US," BJP Overseas Affairs cell convener Vijay Jolly said in a statement
"Now this would come as a foreign idea to the Congress culturists
in India, where even today, the petrol bills for Robert Vadera and
his personal staff is paid for by the government, even if they are
going abroad for shopping," he alleged.
The clarification came after media reports said the visit was
"privately organised". The Congress also alleged that the visitors
were paid for the visit.
Jolly also stated that US-based National Indian American Public
Policy Institute, headed by Punjabi NRI business leader Shalabh
Kumar, with great effort got a business leaders delegation to come
to India - a move that he said would encourage trade and boost
foreign direct investment (FDI).
"Who paid for it or how they paid for it should not be our concern
as long as no government in India paid for it. It is still better
than having to pay the peons and power brokers outside UPA cabinet
ministries just to meet our own Indian ministers," he asserted.
"The US business leaders delegation to India paid their own
travel, hotel and food expenses. No government in India sponsored
their visit. No money was paid by government of United States of
America, neither by BJP and nor by govternment of India (sic),"
A report in 'Hi India', a news portal for South Asians, suggested
that the trip, facilitated by the US-based Overseas Friends of BJP,
was privately organised and an invitation was circulated via a
The invite said the trip was for a select few and mentioned cost
options. But it is not confirmed that the members actually paid to
be part of the delegation.
Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia alleged Saturday: "It is a
matter of shame for our state. People were sent here after taking
$16,000 and they were passed off as an official delegation. This
is a fraud, Modi should resign and apologise to the people."