Several social media users have raised doubts over the personal expenses of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after a new Right to Information (RTI) reply revealed that the Indian taxpayer hasn’t been bearing the expense for the last six years.
“The information sought regarding expenditure on PM’s personal hairdresser, hairstylist, make-up team and grooming team is personal in nature and is exempt from disclosure under Section 8 (1) (j) of the Right to Information Act. It may, however, be noted that expenditure on personal hairdresser, hair stylist, make-up team and grooming team for PM is not borne on Government Account, says the RTI reply”, according to information shared by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) in its reply.
Another RTI reply from the PMO claimed that no government funds have been spent on maintaining the dietary habits of the prime minister.
Modi, as the PM, draws Rs. 2,80,000/- as his monthly salary.— Saurav Das (@OfficialSauravD) January 13, 2021
You expect me to agree that all his expenses on varieties of food (PMO standards), hairstylists, make-up team, clothes, etc. everything is borne out of his personal income?
Ek alag fakeeri toh hai Modi ji me. pic.twitter.com/fbFsfgxqUt
The RTI reply was shared by journalist Saurav Das on his Twitter account on Wednesday.
When questioned by social media users that the PM could be bearing the expenses for his lifestyle from his monthly pay check of $3,824 (280,000 INR), Das cited records from India’s lower house of parliament that claim he hasn’t drawn a single salary since 2014.
Some bhakt-gann were criticizing me about this, saying, 2.8 lakhs/month is enough for Fakeer to live a lavish lifestyle. Firstly, nope. It's not enough.— Saurav Das (@OfficialSauravD) January 13, 2021
Second- Here. Lok Sabha records show Fakeer ji has not drawn any salary since 2014. Now, who's paying? Not Fakeer ji for sure! https://t.co/35HGQHCyGg pic.twitter.com/57nhtX2ckR
Various allegations against the popular Indian PM have been thrown around by social media users after the RTI replies were made public, with some wondering how Modi has been getting by financially for all these years.
In a legal affidavit filed with India’s Election Commission (EC) before the 2019 federal election, PM Modi stated that he owned movable and immovable assets to the tune of $341,000. The affidavit revealed that the PM owned fixed bank deposits worth $173,000 in India’s public banker the State Bank of India (SBI).
Details of the election affidavit, as reported by India Today in April 2019, revealed that PM Modi had $530 (38,750 INR) as cash in hand and $56 (4,143 INR) in retrievable bank deposits (different from fixed deposits).
The affidavit stated that PM’s primary source of income was his salary and the interest he earned on his savings. It has further been reported that PM Modi’s movable and immovable assets had risen by 52 percent between 2014 and 2019.
Modi was state chief of Gujarat since 2001 before he assumed office as prime minister in 2014.
While the prime minister has often claimed that he espouses a humble lifestyle, opposition leaders, mainly those from the Congress Party, have time and again picked on several of his photographs to mount political attacks against him.
A picture tweeted from the PM’s personal account last year showed him donning Mayback sunglasses, which some claimed cost $1,912.
Pawan Khera, a Congress spokesperson, has alleged that the PM gets a “diamond facial” regularly. Delhi state chief Arvind Kejriwal also claimed in 2016 that the PM “never repeats his clothes”.