New Delhi (ND TV): Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s explanation about how she is unfairly being accused of helping tainted cricket mogul Lalit Modi prove she is “an expert in theatrics”, said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
In a defense with a high EQ, the Foreign Minister told Parliament yesterday that she had not intervened to arrange urgent travel papers from the UK for Lalit Modi, who fled India in 2010 after being named in a series of corruption cases. Instead, Mrs Swaraj said, any assistance she provided was “on humanitarian grounds” for Lalit Modi’s wife, who is suffering from cancer, and wanted her husband to travel with her to Portugal for treatment. “Lalit Modi’s wife is innocent, has broken no laws… I want to ask Sonia Gandhi, what would she have done in my place?” the minister asked in Parliament.
The reply she sought was made today. “I would have helped but without breaking the law,” said Mrs Gandhi, from the frontline of her party’s protests at Parliament against the suspension of 25 Congress MPs for disorderly behavior. Mrs Swaraj has said the only role she played in Lalit Modi’s trip to Portugal was in informing the UK government that if it chose to give him travel documents, relations with India would not be affected.
Mrs Gandhi’s son, Rahul, No 2 in the party, has accused Mrs Swaraj of breaking the law to “help a fugitive”, an accusation he has repeatedly discharged despite the warning of a criminal defamation suit from the BJP. Today, he added the allegation that “Sushma Swaraj’s family has received money from Lalit Modi”, a reference to the minister’s husband and daughter serving as legal representatives for the tycoon.
He is also in league with critics who fault Mrs Swaraj for not disclosing her action earlier.
Parliament remains deadlocked with the Congress adamant that unless the PM removes three leaders including Mrs Swaraj, it will not stop disrupting the House.