Congress targets Narendra Modi and Lalit Modi threatens to drop bombshell
GN Bureau | June 16, 2015
Lalit Modi is keeping the pot boiling and adding to the discomfort of Sushma Swaraj even as the Congress attack questioned Narendra Modi on why he was protecting his foreign minister and termed the controversy as ‘Modigate’.
“It appears she (Swaraj) has the tacit support of PM Modi for what she did,” Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said in Chhattisgarh. “The government, and the country, is run by Modi alone….Mr Modi is standing behind Mr Modi,” he said. Gandhi added that far from bringing back black money, NDA was “supporting black money masters on humanitarian ground”.
Lalit Modi, meanwhile, was fueling the controversy by naming a number of senior UPA ministers. In a series of tweets ahead of his lawyer's press conference he claimed that his disclosures, which he termed as "bombshells", would implicate the "erstwhile PMO".
Apparently referring to Opposition's demand for Swaraj's resignation, Lalit Modi said "wrong people resignations are being asked. I can assure u now the storm is about to hit. Lots more resignations will be (sic)."
"Now finally it's my turn to get EVERYTHING OUT. THERE ARE MANY BOMBSHELLS. See for yourselves. Then judge," he tweeted. Lalit Modi has said that he will make more sensational disclosures during a series of media interviews later on Tuesday.
Modi's lawyer Mehmood M Abdi said at a press conference in Mumbai that his client's passport case was argued in UPA's tenure and hence there is no conflict of interest (on Swaraj's part) though the final order came after the government changed last year.
Abdi blamed the Congress-led UPA government for putting Lalit Modi in a "mess" and said those languishing in a "political wilderness" are attacking his client.
"Shashi Tharoor, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid (all ministers in erstwhile UPA government) tried to scuttle his (Lalit Modi) chances of staying in UK by unduly interfering in legal process," Abdi said.
Lalit Modi came to know these facts through RTI application filed in the UK, the ex-IPL chief's counsel added.
Read More: Soft Sushma under attack but real target is Narendra Modi
They tried to harass him, but in the UK the tribunal found that his passport was illegally revoked (by India) and accepted his client's contention that he was being hounded, Abdi said.
According to the lawyer, Lalit Modi's presence in Portugal was needed as his wife, who has been suffering from cancer for the last 17 years, was undergoing treatment there and hence he travelled to that country.
The lawyer also said he does not have any idea if the foreign minister had helped Lalit Modi at the instance of the PM.
“Incontrovertible facts, documents and details of the ‘Modi Gate Scandal’ emerging since yesterday (Sunday) clearly reflect active complicity of not only Swaraj but also point towards the BJP government aiding and abetting a fugitive of the Indian law with tacit approval of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Randeep Singh Surjewala, national spokesperson of the Congress party told reporters on Monday.
Alleging that Lalit Modi “appears to have a long standing relationship” with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Surjewala declared that the Prime Minister “needs to explain” his conduct to the people of the country.
The Congress put 11 questions to the government on the matter, including an explanation of the relationship between Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah and Lalit Modi; how the return of a “fugitive” could be called a humanitarian cause; and the stand of the finance ministry, the Enforcement Directorate and income-tax department on the issue.
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