The Congress on Friday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of having a “deep nexus” with Lalit Modi and bluntly told the government that there was no way out other than the resignation of Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje for “saving” the monsoon session of parliament.
“This is now an issue of deep nexus between a proclaimed offender and the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister, the Rajasthan Chief Minister and the BJP president,” senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh told reporters seeking to link the Prime Minister and Amit Shah with the controversy.
Mr. Ramesh said that in 2009, Mr. Narendra Modi, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister, > became Gujarat Cricket Association president and industrialist Gautam Adani was made commercial promoter.
Noting that five years later, the current BJP president was made GCA president while Mr. Adani continued to be promoter, he said that this was “not my allegation, facts available in public domain”.
Besides, he claimed that the “Lalit Modi-Gautam Adani nexus” has been clearly established by the documents now in public domain.
Alleging that the >“silence” of the Prime Minister on the issue is “deafening” and is a “definite proof” that the BJP’s topmost leadership has “many things to hide”, he said the PM has not been speaking because the “unholy nexus is now surfacing”.
“The government has got caught in a trap of its own making. The only way out for the PM for the survival of his government and saving the monsoon session of Parliament is resignation of Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje,” he said.
Asked what action the Congress was seeking against the PM and the BJP chief in view of the alleged nexus with Mr. Lalit Modi, Mr. Ramesh remarked that “as a first step” the resignation of Ms. Swaraj and Ms. Raje.
A senior Congress leader, who declined to be identified, said that the party would like a larger opposition coalition on the issue of the Lalit Modi row like the one which had taken shape against the controversial land acquisition bill.
The monsoon session of parliament generally starts in the third week of July.
>Arun JaitleyUnion Finance Minister, BJP
"All allegations levelled are baseless."
>P. ChidambaramFormer Finance Minister, Congress
"Ensure Modi returns to India for ED probe."
>Sushma SwarajExternal Affairs Minister, BJP
Helped Lalit Modi after taking a humanitarian view.
>Sitaram Yechury General Secretary, CPI-M
Intervention of Sushma Swaraj is unacceptable
Sushma Swaraj and Keith Vaz are no longer the only ones in the line of fire:
- » Documents supplied by Lalit Modi's lawyer on Monday revealed that >Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had in August 2011 backed his immigration application on condition it would not be made known to Indian authorities.
- » On Wednesday Sushma Swaraj was tweeting in response to allegation that her daughter >Bansuri Swaraj got admission to medical school the northeast quota.
- »> Media baron Rupert Murdoch found his name figure in the controversy. In a TV interview, Mr. Modi said Mr. Murdoch was upset with him.
Hints at fissures in the BJP were made by party member Kirti Azad, who pointed to an in-house conspiracy targeting Sushma:
- » In his tweets, >Mr. Azad referred to a party insider having a role to play in leaking information about the Minister's recommendation and her family's association with Mr. Modi. Mr. Azad claimed that it was a 'snake in the grass' and a media personality who conspired against Ms. Swaraj.
Armed now with enough ammunition, the opposition trained its guns on the Centre :
- »>Former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said Lalit Modi must be brought back to India to face a probe by the enforcement directorate on the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) violations.
- » Sushma should be sacked, said >Rahul Gandhi: "Lalit Modi is the symbol of black money stashed outside and Sushma Swaraj is protecting him"
- »>AAP leader Kumar Vishwas: alleged PMO's involvement in Swaraj row
- - First expose in the London-based on Lalit Modi controversy It alleged that senior Labour British parliamentarian of Indian origin Keith Vaz used his influential position as chair of the House of Commons home affairs select committee to help Mr. Modi get his papers to stay in the UK as a temporary resident, despite his position as a fugitive from the law in India.
- Mr. Vaz, who did not make any public or media statement, in a post on his website said his email was hacked and confidential information accessed. In another post he claims that when he took over there was a passport crisis with 500,000 pending cases in the Home department, which he was able to bring down considerably in five years.
- - In a follow up to the first story the next week the name of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj comes in as yet another senior politician who is making a case for Lalit Modi. Leaked correspondence shows that Mr. Vaz invoked the names of both Ms. Swaraj and Sir James Bevan, British High Commissioner to India as Mr. Modi’s friends, in order to strengthen his case with the immigration authorities.
- - In a TV interview Mr. Modi alleges that media baron Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Times and Sunday Times has masterminded the Sunday Times story. He claims that Mr. Murdoch was miffed over a “no exit” clause in the Champions League, and is therefore getting his back.