Claiming that no Blue Corner notice was issued against him, former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi on Monday dismissed allegations levelled against him in the visa controversy, saying that he was being targeted as part of a political conspiracy aimed at destabilising the Narendra Modi government.
At a press conference here, his counsel Mehmood Abdi accused former UPA Ministers Salman Khursheed, P. Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor of being behind the current controversy and alleged that they had tried to scuttle his chances of securing a visa in U.K. during the Congress rule.
Ahead of the press meet, Mr. Modi declared a war on his political enemies on twitter. “This is war. So bring it on. I choose to lose a battle to win a war. In war, there are no winners I know. But I can assure u I will be standing. The games have just begun. Switch on TV. Game on,” he tweeted minutes before announcing that he was boarding another flight to “another beautiful destination.”
Modi’s counsel Mehmood Abdi told a press conference here on Monday that Mr. Modi was being ‘hounded’ for his revelations on Sunanda Pushkar’s sweat equity in the Kochi IPL team after which Mr. Modi’s and his family’s security was abruptly withdrawn.
‘A ploy to defame Modi govt.’
Mr. Abdi said the controversy was a non-issue, whipped up by those in the ‘political wilderness’ seeking to ‘invent’ a scam to de-stabilise “the Narendra Modi government.”
“Sushma Swaraj lived up to her duty as a foreign minister to help every Indian outside the country who is in trouble,” he said, downplaying accusations of conflict of interest between Ms. Swaraj and Mr. Modi.
Mr. Abdi said the controversy was a ploy to defame the Narendra Modi government which had been scam-free in its first year.
He said Lalit Modi’s wife has been suffering from cancer for the past 17 years and it was the ‘height of insensitivity and irresponsibility’ to make public someone’s health and illness.
Asked why Mr. Modi was not willing to appear before agencies in India he said it was a sensitive and personal question pertaining to his security which was abruptly withdrawn.
“Would you take a chance when it comes to your security?” he asked.
Mr. Abdi dismissed there was any Blue Corner notice against Mr. Modi and said it was a “fabricated document planted for media consumption by N. Srinivasan and party to defame Modi.”
Citing an Interpol letter, Mr. Abdi said the agency had clarified that there was no Blue Corner notice against Mr. Modi.
“A Blue Corner notice is issued to know the whereabouts of a person. But from day one Mr. Modi has communicated with ED and other authorities in Mumbai about his whereabouts and cooperated with them,” Mr. Abdi said.
He also lashed out at reports terming Mr. Modi a ‘fugitive’ and ‘offender.’ “Fugitive and offender are legal terms, not to be used loosely or generously. Which court has declared him a fugitive or an offender?” he asked.
On Twitter, Mr. Modi threatened to reveal secret mail exchange between India and the U.K. governments