Lalit Modi visa row National

BJP opens new line of defence, calls Congress ‘anti-woman’

Delhi Pradesh Mahila Congress activists stage a demonstration against Sushma Swaraj outside the BJP headquarters in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar   | Photo Credit: SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

Under relentless attack for the fourth day running on the “Modigate” scandal that has now dragged in Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and along with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday accused the Congress of taking an “anti-woman” stance by attacking them.

“I think the Congress is taking an anti-woman view by attacking a woman leader,'' BJP's national spokesperson G.V.L. Narasimha Rao told television channels this morning, opening a new line of defence for the party.

However, this immediately drew caustic remarks from those keenly following the controversy on social media with people pointing out that the BJP had never shied away from attacking Congress president Sonia Gandhi.

Meanwhile, responding to the charges made against the UPA Government by former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram tweeted: “The complete answer to Mr. Lalit Modi's accusations against the UPA can be found in the letters to the U.K. Chancellor. Release them.''

Documents released by Mr. Modi's office have revealed that Ms. Raje – as Leader of Opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly in August 2011 – had backed his immigration application on condition it would not be made known to Indian authorities.

Congress spokesperson Shobha Oza also clarified that former Union Minister of State Rajiv Shukla had not met Mr. Modi since 2011. This clarification was made in light of Mr. Modi's claim in a television interview that Mr. Shukla along with former Ministers Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel had helped him get travel papers.

Top developments:

1 Lalit Modi has admitted that he sought and received help from External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. “I have a family and legal relationship with the Sushma Swaraj family; it is a close relationship,” Mr Modi said adding that his relationship with Ms. Raje went back 30 years. >Read more
2 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
3 Mr. Modi's counsel Mehmood Abdi accused former UPA Ministers Salman Khursheed, P. Chidambaram and Shashi Tharoor of being behind the current controversy.
4 Demanding Ms. Swaraj's resignation, Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said: "The BJP, the External Affairs Minister and the whole government have come out to save an accused of the Enforcement Directorate." >Read more
5 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
6 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
7 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
8 Samajwadi Party came out in support of Ms. Swaraj over her help to Lalit Modi, saying what she did was “perfectly alright” and not a “crime” as people in power have to accommodate the requests of people in need. >Read more
9 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.
10 Ms. Swaraj put out her statement on the microblogging site Twitter, clarifying that she had pointed out that if British authorities were to give travel documents to Mr. Modi, who has sought the documents to be able to travel to Portugal for the treatment of his wife, India would not object.

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Printable version | Jul 25, 2021 6:40:01 AM |

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