New Delhi(dna): After blazing on Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for past several days, the opposition Congress on Wednesday brought focus back on external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. The Congress attack came after surfacing of a document about Swaraj’s husband allegedly getting an offer from fugitive former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in quid-pro-quo of her help to him. The party also charged her with blocking government’s challenge to Delhi high court order of releasing Modi’s impounded passport as her own lawyer daughter had fought his case.
Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi took on the PM for abdicating “Raj Dharma” in favour of “Sushma Dharam, Raje Dharam and Lalit Dharam.” Using his Yoga propagation last Sunday, Singhvi said, the PM is in permanent “Maun Yog” mode, oblivious to constitutional propriety, conflict of interest, quid-pro-quo and blatant misuse of office.
“From ‘Maulana Masood Azhar’ to Lalit Modi’; ‘Kandahar, Afghanistan’ to ‘London UK’ and from former foreign minister – Shri Jaswant Singh to present foreign minister – Smt Sushma Swaraj; BJP follows a policy of releasing criminals, terrorists and fugitives on ‘humanitarian grounds,’ Singhvi said.
He said the latest revelation of Lalit Modi to his company Indofil Industries’ company secretary to let Swaraj Kaushal, husband of the foreign minister, as an alternate director in his place further proves the quid-pro-quo charge and conflict of interest on the part of Sushma Swaraj. Though the job offer was later withdrawn by Modi for fear of adverse consequences, Singhvi said it raises many questions like why the offer in the first instance and does it not establish the personal-business relationship between Sushma and fugitive Modi.
He also challenged the PM to release all communications by the UPA government to the British government for repatriation and criminal action against Lalit Modi, how these communications were withdrawn by the foreign ministry under Sushma Swaraj. Singhvi asked the government to divulge the transcript of her meeting with British high commissioner Sir James Bevan for helping out the fugitive.
Meanwhile, Lalit Modi on Wednesday sought to drag Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and BJP leader Varun Gandhi in the row. Modi alleged that Varun had met him at his house in London and offered a deal to “settle” matters with Sonia Gandhi, a charge dubbed by the BJP MP as “baseless” and “nonsense”.
“Mr @varungandhi80 came to see me at my house a few years ago and said he can settle everything in @INCIndia with his aunt (Sonia). He wanted me to meet her sister from Italy. I heard him next I heard from our common friend who introduced us that Auntie wants 60 million dollars. Told them whaaaat are u nuts go HKG a kite. Can he deny that. I hope he does,” Modi alleged in a series of tweets.
Varun called Modi’s allegations absolutely baseless, saying it was beneath his dignity to respond to this nonsense. The BJP also came to Varun’s defence, saying he is in a different party than Sonia Gandhi.”Varun Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi are in different parties and the world knows about the ties between the two families,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
The BJP used Lalit Modi’s allegation to corner the Congress, saying Sonia Gandhi should answer the allegations of demands made for settling the matters for Lalit Modi, who is being probed by the Enforcement Directorate on charges of money laundering. Shahnawaz Hussain said, “While Varun Gandhi has put across his point of view, Sonia Gandhi should answer on the allegations made by Lalit Modi.”