The former boss of IPL makes it difficult for himself and others as he continues to drop names
GN Bureau | June 17, 2015
While Lalit Modi dragged biggies in Indian political establishment in a television interview, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Wednesday said letters written to British authorities on Lalit Modi case during UPA rule should be released as they will answer the former IPL Commissioner's accusations against him and the Congress.
"The complete answer to Lalit Modi's accusations against the UPA can be found in the letters to the UK Chancellor. Release them," Mr Chidambaram, a senior Congress leader, tweeted.
His reaction came a day after Lalit Modi accused Congress and Chidambaram of making him a target of "political vendetta" in the aftermath of Congress leader Shashi Tharoor losing his ministerial job following the IPL scam.
Lalit Modi had attacked the Congress after it demanded resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for helping him get travel documents from the UK.
Lalit Modi had also named Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and said said that she had agreed to secretly back his application for immigration to the UK in 2011, when she was the opposition leader.
“She openly agreed to be (a witness), but unfortunately by the time the case went to trial, she was already chief minister, so she did not come to become a witness. The statements she gave is all on records in the courts,” he said in the interview.
The claim came hours after Modi’s camp reportedly released a ‘witness statement’ purportedly signed by Raje under a condition of strict secrecy.
More than two years ago Chidambaram had reportedly asked the British government why it was not taking action against Lalit Modi, who had taken refuge in London after he was accused of a wide range of financial impropriety, including money laundering.
Chidambaram had taken up the issue during his meeting with the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne in 2013. He reportedly wanted Britain to deport him as Lalit Modi's passport was impounded in India and his UK visa had run out.
In his interview, Lalit Modi had dragged in the names of former union ministers Sharad Pawar, Praful Patel (both from the Nationalist Congress Party) and Rajeev Shukla (Congress) saying they too helped him get travel papers.
"The complete answer to Lalit Modi's accusations against the UPA can be found in the letters to the UK Chancellor. Release them," Chidambaram tweeted.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh, in a series of tweets, attributed the visa controversy to infighting in the BJP
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This piece is based on a previous article by the authors published in Geoforum [Elsevier] in May 2019: available online: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/ S0016718519300764?via%3Dihub
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