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Rahul Gandhi accuses PM of protecting Lalit Modi, demands Sushma’s sacking

Chndigarh(PTI): Congress Vice- President Rahul Gandhi on Monday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to sack Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj over the Lalit Modi controversy as he rejected her ‘humanitarian’ grounds argument and mounted a fresh attack on the NDA Government.

He targeted the Prime Minister over the controversy, saying “one Modi is standing by another Modi”.

“PM Modi had promised to bring back black money to the country and deposit Rs 15 lakh in everyone’s account. Now they are supporting black money masters on humanitarian ground,” he said in an apparent reference to Lalit Modi. Asked whether Swaraj should resign, he said “absolutely”. PM Modi should sack her.”

He accused the Prime Minister of protecting the tainted cricket administrator and said “(Narendra) Modi is standing by (Lalit) Modi.”

“Sushma Swaraj is just a minor Minister in the cabinet. Only one man is running the government. PM should stop protecting (Lalit) Modi,” the Congress MP said.

Swaraj is at the centre of a raging row for helping fugitive former IPL chief Lalit Modi, based in London, who faces money laundering charges, secure documents to travel to Portugal last year.

Swaraj has said she helped Lalit on “humanitarian” ground as he wanted to travel to Portugal where his wife was undergoing medical treatment.

“If you talk about humanity, you should also help people affected by the wild elephant menace here (in Korba) on humanitarian grounds,” Gandhi said.

He was talking to mediapersons at Kudmura village after interacting with villagers facing hardships due to the human-elephant conflict in the area.

Earlier, while interacting with villagers, Gandhi blamed the Centre and ruling BJP is Chhattisgarh for the man- animal conflict in the state, saying the elephant habitat is being destroyed to make way for coal mining in the name of development.

“Farmers and tribals are bearing the brunt of coal mining while elephants and other wildlife species, too, are getting displaced due to shrinking forests which serve as their habitat,” the 44-year-old Amethi MP said.

“Just for the sake of a few industrialists, both the Centre and the state gave away the densely-forested Hasdeo-Arand region for mining. PM Modi call it development. What kind of development model it is?” he asked.

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