The big guns of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came out in strong support of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who is in the middle of a huge controversy regarding granting of travel documents to former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh categorically stated that the entire government and the party was totally behind Swaraj.
“I want to make it clear that all allegations (against EAM) are baseless. What she did was in good intentions, she acted bona fide. The whole party and the government are one on it, on which there should be no doubt” Jaitley said.
On investigations regarding IPL chief he said, “The ED has investigated several cases against the person (Lalit Modi) considered. Show cause notices have been issued. Those are quasi-judicial. They are being investigated. Out of 16, in 15 cases show cause notices have been issued.”
Jaitley emphasised that all the “ministers are capable of taking decisions and whatever decisions they take, we take it collectively, the government backs them.”
On being asked about the comments made yesterday by BJP MP from Bihar Kirti Azad, who had tweeted about #AsteenKaSaanp the Finance Minister said, “Ask the next question.”
Reacting to the press conference by Jaitley and Rajnath, senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh posted on Twitter: “FM confirms Lalit Modi is being investigated by ED and Blue Corner Notice issued to him. Yet justifies Sushma’s action. Contradicts himself.”
On the other hand, talking to ANI, another Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit said, “The way in which BJP has jumped to defend Sushma ji, they are actually not saving her but the PMO and PM. In reality BJP is saving PM Modi. Sushma ji is simply a collateral damage.”
Earlier, stepping up its attack on the controversy, the Congress demanded today that there should be an independent inquiry by the Supreme Court-monitored SIT into the matter.
Addressing the press in the national capital, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma called the actions of the government and the Minister for External Affairs unwarranted.
He also sought to know as to why concessions were made to facilitate former IPL chief’s travel to Portugal, refusing to accept that concession was made on humanitarian grounds as Sushma has been maintaining from day one.
Sharma pointed out that there was no invasive surgery for Lalit Modi’s wife due to which emergency travel documents were required and added that the ex-IPL chief was holidaying in a place called Ibiza, when the passport was restored.
He also pointed out that the Government of India did not appeal
“We demand a thorough investigation in this affair not restricted to travel documents, under the supervision of the Supreme Court,” Sharma said.
At the same time Congress spokesperson questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the contentious issue, alleging that Lalit Modi was being protected.