NEW DELHI, India: The Bharatiya Janata Party has asked the Prime Minister, Mr. Rajiv Gandhi to disclose the names of his family friends and foreign guests who joined him during his recent holiday trip to Lakshadweep,

In a statement issued here on Wednesday, the BJP general secretary, Mr. Krishanlal Sharma said the way the visit of Mr. Amitabh Bachchan was kept top secret raised many doubts. This should also be made clear whether the visit of the Prime Minister’s foreign friends to Lakshadweep flouted the law of the land, he said,

Blaming the Prime Minister for undertaking such a costly holiday specially when a large part of the country was still reeling under the impact of severe drought, the BJP leader sought to know the exact expense incurred by the Centre, the state government, various other departments and even in his personal capacity. When day in and day out the Prime Minister was giving sermons for observing austerity and financial discipline because of the drought, the people had every right to know as to how Mr. Gandhi himself was behaving, Mr. Sharma said,

Alleging that the Prime Minister was totally unconcerned about the untold miseries of the people, the BJP leader said Mr. Gandhi was going on increasing the burden of the weaker sections, the middle class and fixed income group by raising prices of various commodities. He warned the Prime Minister that he could not take the people of India for a ride for long. Already they have become disillusioned.

The BJP leader opposed the reported plan of the Government to spend several corers on the Republic Day celebrations this year

Mr. Krishanlal Sharma categorically asked the Prime Minister to disclose the amount spent on his foreign tours during 1987, on his tours and functions organized in his honor within the country last year, expenses incurred on holding Russian Festival in India, the cost of the Sariska Cabinet meeting and lastly his holiday in the Lakshadweep island.

The BJP leader further charged that through a tight security net the residence of the Prime Minister had been placed under an iron curtain to conceal the frequent visits of the foreign nationals friendly to him and his family. While Mr. Gandhi was hardly available to his countrymen at his residence, he was easily accessible to the foreign friends. Mr. Sharma alleged and feared that such a situation could pose a security risk for the country.

Article extracted from this publication >> January 29, 1988