Lalit Modi row: Rajnath reiterates Centre’s support for Sushma

Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad says that the NDA Ministers “do not do all that” was being done by Ministers in the UPA government.

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:07 pm IST

Published - June 24, 2015 06:41 pm IST - New Delhi

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefs the media after the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh briefs the media after the Cabinet meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. Photo: Shanker Chakravarty

The Centre on Wednesday rejected Congress demand for resignation of Union Ministers Sushma Swaraj and Smriti Irani over the Lalit Modi and >fake degree controversies, saying “our Ministers do not do all that their (UPA) Ministers used to do”.

“Our Ministers do not have to resign. This is not their (Congress) government. This is NDA government,” Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters at the briefing about the Cabinet meeting.

He was asked how will the monsoon session run smoothly as the Congress has been demanding resignation of three BJP leaders — External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, HRD Minister Smriti Irani and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje — over the controversies.

The Congress kept up its attack against the NDA dispensation, seeking the dismissal of Ms. Swaraj from the Union Council of Ministers and resignation of Ms. Raje on the Lalit Modi issue.

Besides, the party’s student wing NSUI on Wednesday held a protest outside Shastri Bhavan seeking “immediate resignation” of Ms. Irani, accusing her of holding “fake” degrees.

While the Home Minister was dismissive of the demand of resignations, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad reasoned that the NDA Ministers “do not do all that” was being done by Ministers in the UPA government.

“Let me add, our Ministers do not do all that their (UPA) Ministers used to do,” Mr. Prasad said, in an obvious reference to allegations of scandals during UPA era involving then Union Ministers.

The remarks by the two senior Ministers came a day after BJP MP R.K. Singh >had struck a discordant note over Ms. Swaraj and Ms. Raje allegedly extending help to former IPL boss Mr. Lalit Modi, saying “any help to a fugitive is legally and morally wrong”.

Mr. R.K. Singh’s strong comments were the first public criticism by a ruling party MP against the help extended to Mr. Lalit Modi by Ms. Swaraj and Ms. Raje, an issue which has snowballed into a major political controversy for the Narendra Modi government even though the BJP has defended both leaders.

Top developments:

1 Mr. Modi alleged that Mr. Jaitley had control over the BCCI for decades and had continued to stick by his “oldest friend” — former Board president N. Srinivasan — even after the media and the court found him guilty. >Read more
2 A report in the Sunday Times said Mr. Modi had used the names of Prince of Wales Charles and Duke of York Prince Andrew in support of his claim for a travel permit. >Read more
3 Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria admitted that he had met Mr. Modi in London last year, but clarified that he had asked him to return to Mumbai and lodge a case in connection with underworld threats to his life. >Read more
4 Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked Mr. Maria to “provide information officially to the government as to what he has said in the media”. >Read more
5 Mr. Modi had dismissed allegations levelled against him in the controversy, saying that he was being targeted as part of a political conspiracy aimed at destabilising the Narendra Modi government. >Read more
6 Mr. Modi's counsel Mehmood Abdi accused former UPA Ministers Salman Khursheed, P. Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor of being behind the current controversy.
7 BJP MP Kirti Azad, hinting at a feud within the party on Twitter, referred to a party insider playing a role in leaking information about Ms. Swaraj’s recommendation and her family’s association with Mr. Modi. >Read more
8 The U.K. said it will not probe into the allegations against Labour party MP Keith Vaz. The Commissioner for Standards examined a complaint of conflict-of-interest and dismissed it for lack of sufficient evidence. >Read more
9 The Union government and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh came out in full support of Ms. Swaraj. Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah said the recommendation was made on “humanitarian” and not “moral” grounds. >Read more
10 Ms. Swaraj defended her decision to recommend travel documents for former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, after taking a "humanitarian view" and asserted that she asked the British government to examine his request and follow the rules.
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