Lalit Modi is not an absconder: Sushma Swaraj in defence of former IPL chief


After days of disruptions in Lok Sabha over Sushma Swaraj’s role in helping Lalit Modi, former IPL commissioner, get travel documents from the British authorities, the Lok Sabha finally debated this issue on Wednesday.

Mallikarjun Kharge from Congress led the debate by spelling out the list of ‘violations’ that he felt the foreign minister had committed.

While presenting his list of seven questions, Kharge asked, ”  She (Sushma Swaraj) had reversed the stand of the earlier government by secretly informing UK officials last year that India had no objection to Lalit Modi being allowed to accompany his wife to Portugal. Why was this not disclosed? Is it not a recommendation when you say that giving travel documents will not affect relationship between India and UK? Did the PM or you or or Arun Jaitley decide not to appeal against relief to Lalit Modi in passport case?”

After a biref disruptions, when the Lok Sabha resumed, Swaraj began to present her side of the story.

All she could say that ‘I did no wrong’ when Congress MPs began to shout ‘yeah nahi chalega ( this wouldn’t be acceptable).’ At one point the Speaker Sumitra Mahajan lost her cool and asked those not wanting to listen to Swaraj to leave the House.

(Read full coverage on so-called Lalitgate here)

Mahajan’s role has come under sharp scrutiny with she being accused of blatantly siding with her party-led government in the lower house of the parliament. Her decision to suspend 25 Congress MPs from Lok Sabha had generated nationwide protests.

In her defence Swaraj further added, “My husband was not a lawyer in Lalit Modi’s passport case. My daughter was a junior in the ninth position. There were 11 lawyers and my daghter appeared with senior lawyers.

“Rahu Gandhi says Sushma Swaraj helped an absonder and therefore committed a criminal act. Let me tell you he (Lalit Modi) is not an absonder. No court has termed him that.”

Congress has been demanding resignations of Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia for their alleged links with Lalit Modi, who’s wanted in connection with alleged hawala money transaction and money laundering. He’s take refuge in England for several years now. The UPA government had revoked his passport, but it was restored after the BJP government led by Narendra Modi took over the reign at the centre in May 2014.

Congress is adamant that it will let parliament function unless PM Modi sacks these two ministers.