Lalit Modi row will haunt PM till he remains silent: Azad

"All over India, no one is ready to listen to Mann ki Baat...Everyone wants to listen to voice of people," Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:56 pm IST

Published - June 28, 2015 05:11 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress on Sunday attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the >Lalit Modi controversy , saying calls will be made for his resignation if he continues to remain silent and not take immediate action against those involved in corruption.

“It is in the interest of the Prime Minister to take immediate action against those involved in corruption. Otherwise nationally and internationally, it is going to haunt him wherever he goes,” Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad told reporters in New Delhi.

The senior Congress leader said that people will start asking for Mr. Modi’s resignation if he failed to act. “So far they are not asking, but I am sure people will start asking for his resignation. If he has to save his government and his prestige, he should act”.

Speaking soon after the PM’s “Mann ki Baat” programme on the radio, Mr. Azad expressed disappointment over the “failure” of the Prime Minister to speak on Lalitgate.

“All over India, no one is ready to listen to Mann ki Baat...Everyone wants to listen to voice of people,” Mr. Azad said.

Taking a dig at the Prime Minister, he said that Mr Modi continued to be a “dream merchant” in the programme as he has been merely selling dreams in India and abroad.

Noting that the former IPL chief Lalit Modi had only recently praised the Prime Minister by hailing him as the “most savvy man”, he said Narendra Modi continued to keep mum about him and did not say whether there was any plan to bring the fugitive back to India from abroad.

“The Prime Minister considers himself a superman who can order around even heads of government....Has he written to the Prime Minister or Finance Minister of the U.K. in the last one year” on the issue of bringing back Lalit Modi, Mr. Azad asked.

“Whatever (L K) Advaniji has to say, he says it clearly. It is for you to understand what he is saying... lato ke bhoot baton se nahi mante ,” Mr. Azad remarked when asked about the BJP patriarch’s call for maintenance of probity in public life.

“Advaniji is a seasoned leader, who always talks in a measured tone. There are several senior leaders in the BJP who are saying their ‘mann ki baat’. They are saying that there is a difference in practice and precept” of the Prime Minister, he said.

Mr. Azad’s comments are significant as Mr. Advani’s remarks recalling how he quit after his name cropped up in the hawala scam are seen as a veiled message to the Prime Minister over the controversy involving Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje.

The Congress leader saw as an attempt at polarisation the reference of the Prime Minister to Raksha Bandhan in his radio talk.

“As the Ramzan month is on, it would have been in the fitness of things if the Prime Minister had talked about it.

Since ours is a composite culture, he could have talked about festivals of all religions,” Azad remarked.

“Regrettably, it appears aimed at polarisation. Chor chori se jaye, heraferi se na jaye (one cannot change one’s essential nature),” he added.

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