Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi on Monday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should sack External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for helping “tainted” former IPL boss Lalit Modi.
“Lalit Modi is the symbol of black money stashed outside and Sushma Swaraj is protecting him. It is not Sushma Swaraj who should resign but it is the Prime Minister Modi who should sack Sushma Swaraj because he said he would bring back black money,” Mr. Gandhi told reporters at Kudmura village in Korba district of Chhattisgarh.
He dragged the Prime Minister into the Lalit Modi-Sushma Swaraj controversy and accused him of protecting “the master of black money.”‘Tale of two Modis’
“It’s a tale of two Modis. First Modi, that is Lalit Modi, the master of black money who is sitting outside [the country]. Second Modi, who is the Prime Minister and who had promised to bring back black money. But when it came to bringing back Lalit Modi, he [the Prime Minister] is saying that we [the government] have helped him on humanitarian grounds because his relative is ill. Here in Chhattisgarh, poor tribals are suffering due to animal attacks but the PM cannot help them on humanitarian grounds,” said Mr. Gandhi.
Asked about her party and the RSS backing the External Affairs Minister over the controversy, Mr. Gandhi said, “Of course, the party will stand behind Sushma Swaraj because the party is Mr. Modi now. Who is Sushma Swaraj?
“She is just a Minister in this government and she means nothing in this government. There is only one man who is running this country and the government and he should stop protecting Lalit Modi.”
Mr. Gandhi accused the Prime Minister of following a wrong development model which excluded poor people, farmers and tribals and benefited only a select few industrialists.
Interacting with project-affected farmers and elephant menace-hit villagers in Korba district, he said, “Prime Minister Modi says he wants to develop India, but his development model includes only two-three industrialists. He is not concerned about tribals and farmers of this country. He says there is no need to ask the farmer before acquiring his land. Whose development is this?”