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Live: Congress protests outside Sushma's house

Youth Congress members being stopped by the police during their protest near the residence of External Affairs Minister in New Delhi on Monday.

Youth Congress members being stopped by the police during their protest near the residence of External Affairs Minister in New Delhi on Monday.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Aam Aadmi Party on Monday dragged the Prime Minister’s Office into the raging row over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj extending help to scam-tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi alleging that “PMO may have been in the loop“.

The opposition on Monday turned up the heat on the Centre and Sushma Swaraj over her “assistance” to Lalit Modi in obtaining British travel documents. The Congress staged a protest outside the Minister's house, demanding her resignation.

Bringing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the line of fire, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh said that “achhe din” appeared to have arrived for those accused in criminal cases——from Amit Shah, to Ramdev, to Lalit Modi. “ACHHE DIN for all accused of murder false encounter money laundering FEMA from Amit Shah to Ramdev to Lalit Modi. PM silent. ???? ????????”, the Congress General Secretary said in a series of tweets.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Monday accused the Centre of adopting double standard and questioned its commitment to rule of law going by the manner in which the NDA government, BJP and RSS have put up a united face to defend External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in the Lalit Modi controversy.

"Going by manner in which the NDA government, BJP and RSS have closed ranks to defend Swaraj, it is clear that the BJP has a double standard in enforcement of rule of law against those people it likes and those it does not,"he told reporters on the sidelines of Janata Durbar at the Chief Minister's official residence.

However, the Shiv Sena on Monday came out in support of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is embroiled in a row over her “assistance” to Lalit Modi, and accused opposition of conspiring to destabilise the Narendra Modi government









Earlier in the day, Congress National Spokesperson P.L. Punia said: “There are circumstances which establish contact between Sushma Swaraj and Lalit Modi. As a quid pro quo, Sushma Swaraj has done favour to a tainted person who is accused of Rs. 700 crore money laundering, tax evasion and several other charges."

'Completely unacceptable'

Terming External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s assistance to Indian fugitive Lalit Modi in getting British travel documents as “completely unacceptable”, CPI(M) today demanded though enquiry into the matter.

“The intervention by the Minister of External Affairs, in inappropriately facilitating the travel of a person with serious criminal charges connected with the IPL controversy, is completely unacceptable. There must be a thorough enquiry into all the allegations that have surfaced regarding this affair and consequent punishment under the law must be taken promptly against all concerned,” the Communist party said in a statement.

Internal feud?

A senior BJP member and Lok Sabha MP Kirti Azad, coming out in defence of Ms. Swaraj, made broad hints to a feud within the party ranks.

In his tweets, Mr. Azad has referred to a party insider, having a role to play in leaking information about the Minister’s recommendation and her family’s association with Mr. Modi, who is wanted in India on charges of money laundering. >More..

Support for Sushma

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. Mr. Lalit Modi’s passport was revoked in 2010 and restored by the Delhi High Court last August. >More..

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.

Keith Vaz, the senior Labour MP of Indian origin, used Ms. Swaraj's name to put pressure on Sarah Rapson, the head of UK visa and immigration, to grant IPL founder Lalit Modi travel papers for the United Kingdom. >More..

'Took humanitarian view of Lalit Modi's request for travel papers'

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.

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. > More..

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 1:24:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/top-developments-in-the-lalit-modi-visa-row/article7317970.ece

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