London-based fugitive says he bumped into t Congress chief’s daughter and husband at a restaurant
GN Bureau | June 26, 2015
Lalit Modi’s tweets on the so called 'accidental meeting' with Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra has triggered a fresh war between the BJP and the Congress while pushing Vasundhara Raje issue to the background.
In a three-part tweet, the former IPL commissioner had said he was "happy to meet the Gandhi family in London" and that he had bumped into Congress president Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra at a restaurant.”
But in another tweet, he revealed that the meeting was last year. "If I remember correctly it was last year and the year before. Doubt either reported it to anyone. They were in power then," he tweeted.
The BJP on Friday alleged that Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law was trying to weaken and soften cases on the former IPL chief.
The Congress hit back, saying it was a case of 'chhota Modi' helping 'bada Modi' (Narendra Modi) with lies".
Chief spokesperson of the Congress Randeep Surjewala said Priyanka Gandhi and her husband did not interact with the former IPL boss and running into anybody in a restaurant was not a crime.
Surjewala said Lalit Modi was working at the behest of the BJP to divert attention to "non-issues" and reiterated the main opposition's demand for the resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje for their help to him.
Raje and Swaraj have been facing flak for helping Modi get British travel and immigration papers at a time he is wanted in India for alleged financial irregularities.
"I can say with full responsibility that neither Priyanka Gandhi nor Robert Vadra ever interacted with Lalit Modi socially. If you see somebody in a restaurant, it is not a crime. 'Chhota Modi' is helping 'bada Modi' with lies.
"The government should speak about real issue and not hide behind Lalit Modi," Surjewala said.
Surjewala said Swaraj and Raje helped a fugitive accused of "fraud of gigantic proportions" and noted how Swaraj spoke to the British envoy in India to help Lalit Modi without consulting with her ministry officials.
Raje, he added, gave an affidavit to the UK government in his favour with a condition that it should not be made known to Indian authorities. "The government must explain why they did it."
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