Opposition questions PM’s silence on Lalitgate

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Call for action Youth Congress activists protest over the Lalit Modi case inJaipur on Thursday PTI

Rajnath Singh may have discussed the issue with Modi

Opposition parties on Thursday stepped up their demand for the resignation of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia, as more details have begun to come out on the relations between top BJP leaders and controversial businessman Lalit Modi.

While asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his silence on the matter, the Opposition said a fair probe into the issue will not be possible if Swaraj and Raje continue in their respective positions.

According to a PTI report, Modi is believed to have discussed the fallout of the ‘Lalitgate’ issue with Home Minister Rajnath Singh in his South Block office after an official meeting. Though BJP has come out in full support of Swaraj, it has been more restrained in its defence of Raje.

Swaraj has been at the centre of the row for helping Indian “fugitive” Lalit Modi in getting British travel documents, while Raje is accused of pushing for his immigration plea.

“The Prime Minister had said during the election campaigns that he will not eat and will not allow others to eat. What happened to this promise? Why is he silent on the actions of his colleagues?” asked senior Congress leader CP Joshi.

Joshi said several documents have revealed that Lalit Modi had helped Raje financially. Money was brought into Lalit Modi’s company, Ananda Heritage Hotels Pvt Ltd, through fictitious share applications and thereafter was loaned to Niyant Heritage Hotels Pvt Ltd, run by Raje’s family, he said.

Business deals

“Vasundhara Raje had also purchased 815 shares of ₹10 each at a premium of ₹96,190, amounting to ₹7,80,00,000,” Joshi claimed and wondered why the RSS and BJP president Amit Shah are silent on the Rajasthan CM’s business links with Lalit Modi.

He said the Centre, instead of taking action against Swaraj and Raje, is targeting Congress leaders. “They are using the CBI to silence the Congress,” he said, citing a CBI case against Gujarat opposition leader Shankarsingh Vaghela. The latter’s residence and offices were raided by the CBI yesterday over the NTC property scam.

The Left parties too said both the BJP leaders should resign from their posts.

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury wondered if the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) too had endorsed facilitating UK travel documents for Lalit Modi.

“The probity of this Narendra Modi Government is under a big question mark — his accountability and transparency. This can only be answered if a proper probe is constituted and, while the probe is on, these people should not continue to remain in office,” he told reporters here on Thursday.

Character visible

He added that the character of the government is visible now. “When this government claimed there was no corruption in its first year, we had said that in the first rule of UPA too there was no corruption; just wait for sometime. We didn’t have to wait for it very long. We are seeing the character of the government,” Yechury said.

The Left leader added that the issue will be raised in the upcoming Monsoon session of Parliament. “It will surely be an issue during the upcoming session of Parliament and particularly in the background of the tall claims made by this government. And why is the PM silent? Whether there has also been an endorsement of the PMO to all that has happened?” he said.

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Published on June 18, 2015
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