After gunning for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over Lalit Modi visa row, the Congress on Monday upped the ante targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the issue.
Asserting that the External Affairs Minister could have done what she did without the consent of the Prime Minister, pointing to some “new facts” that, according to the Congress, appeared.
The Congress also said that it was hard to believe Prime Minister Narendra Modi who ‘runs the foreign ministry’ didn’t know about an absconder being helped.
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala showed pictures of PM and former IPL chief together to the media and said, “It seems like Lalit Modi has connections with the PM and Amit Shah. Would any reasonable person believe that EAM helped the criminal without the knowledge of the PM?”
“Unprecedented that written communication establishes a quid pro quo between the criminal in question and the minister,” warning that the “government would regret backing Swaraj.”
“Doesn’t this make EAM an abettor the crime and shouldn’t an FIR be filed,” the Congress leader asked.
Surjewala also posed 11 questions to the Prime Minister, including “what happens to transparency and non-corruption promise” made by him and how the government would bring back black money if it “supports” such people who are accused of money laundering to the tune of Rs 700 crore.
Rejecting Swaraj’s defence that she helped Lalit Modi on “humanitarian grounds”, Surjewala had yesterday alleged quid-pro-quo, saying the former IPL Commissioner had helped her husband Swaraj Kaushal in securing admission for his nephew in a UK university in 2013 and that he enjoyed proximity to BJP leaders, including its president Amit Shah.
The AICC in-charge of communications department had also wondered if the government had come out with a policy to help criminals on humanitarian ground and if it would be extended to wanted terrorist Dawood Ibrahim too if he sought such a help.
“What we have witnessed today involves blatant quid pro quo, direct help to a fugitive from law, internecine warfare between the top echelons of government and unraveling of the nexus between BJP leadership and its crony criminal friends… Swaraj should immediately step down,” he had said.
He had also sought to know if the PM was aware of Swaraj’s help to the former IPL chief.
Sushma had yesterday admitted that she had helped Lalit Modi procure documents to travel to Portugal last July on “humanitarian grounds”.