Amid reports that Rs 35 lakh was spent by the government on a fitness challenge video featuring PM Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister’s Office today clarified that no expenditure was incurred on it. It was filmed at the PM’s residence by the official cameraperson, the PMO said in its reply.

In this connection, an independent lawyer has reportedly sent legal notices to journalist Nikhil Wagle and editor of the website IndiaScoops Megha Choudhary for publishing an allegedly fabricated and defamatory tweet and report respectively against the PM and the video.

“No expenditure has been incurred on (the) filming of the video posted by Shri Narendra Modi. The video was filmed at the Prime Minister’s Residence. The videography was done by the PMO cameraman. Nothing has been procured for the video,” the PMO said in reply to an RTI application. The RTI had sought to know the cost of making the video and of giving the contract.

Here's a picture of the RTI application:

A couple of months ago, media reports had alleged that Rs 35 lakhs had been spent on the fitness video of the Prime Minister in which he could be seen doing yoga in different poses.

After the report came out, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had cited it to attack the PM Modi. Later on, Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyawardhan Rathore had dismissed the allegations saying no money was spent on it.

However, this is the first time that the PMO has directly responded on the matter.

The legal notices sent to Wagle and the website editor by lawyer Ankit Raj — who claims to be an ardent follower of the Prime Minister — say that the allegations made against Modi were “not just false, devoid of factual basis and misleading, but also was a specimen of representative malafide intent”. MyNation called Wagle and left a text, but could not get a response yet. We have also sent a mail to IndiaScoops for a response.

“The fact of the matter is that there is no reliable evidence or any authentic source of information and these allegations are purely based on concocted and conjured facts, and your post is defamatory per se,” the legal notice said.