Continuing its tirade against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia over the Lalit Modi controversy, the Congress on Friday urged Modi to stop practising “Lalit asana ” and make his stand clear on the issue.
( Lalitasana , or lotus posture, is a well-known yoga asana .)
The BJP, however, rejected the demand for the resignation of Swaraj and Raje, and said the duo has done nothing improper.
Senior Congress leader and former Union Minister Jairam Ramesh said at a press conference here today the Prime Minister has not responded to the 34 questions posed by his party over the past five days.
“We hope that after the International Yoga Day (Sunday, June 21), the Prime Minister will come out of the ‘Lalit asana ’. His eyes, ears, mouth and nose are closed in the posture,” he said.
The questions had been posed by his party colleagues P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma and Randeep Surjewala, said Ramesh.Deafening silence
“Not one question has been answered by the Prime Minister, by the External Affairs Minister, the Chief Minister of Rajasthan and by the spokespersons of the BJP, including its president. The silence is deafening and is definite proof that the BJP’s topmost leadership has many things to hide,” he said.
The senior leader further said the issue is no longer a question of impropriety.
“This is now an issue of a deep nexus between a proclaimed offender against whom the Enforcement Directorate has cases pending, and the PM, the EAM, the Rajasthan CM and the BJP president.
“The Lalit Modi-Gautam Adani nexus has also been clearly established by the documents now in the public domain,” the Rajya Sabha MP said, adding that the issue will be raised in Parliament if the government does not give any convincing answers.
Swaraj has been facing criticism for helping former IPL head Lalit Modi, found guilty on various counts of misconduct and indiscipline, procure travel documents in the UK. Raje is alleged to have given him a witness statement.
Ramesh said on Friday the nexus between the BJP top leadership and Lalit Modi was seeded when the PM was the president of the Gujarat Cricket Association and bloomed when Shah took over. “If this is not the crony capitalism that the Finance Minister speaks about all the time, what is?” he added.
He reminded the BJP that Modi had taken a moral high ground on black money, corruption, transparency and accountability before the Lok Sabha election.
“The Congress knew along that this was a cruel joke but now the entire nation is seeing the double standards, hypocrisy and brazenness of the Prime Minister. International Yoga Day is still two days away but ever since the Chota Modi scam broke Bada Modi’s ears, eyes, nose and mouth have all been closed. He is clearly afraid to take decisive action against the External Affairs Minister and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan because he is afraid they will spill the beans and reveal the real truth that Lalit Modi would not have been able to take the Indian government for a royal ride without the connivance of the Prime Minister and the BJP president.
“There is nothing fake about this anymore,” he said.BJP hits back
The BJP said the validity of the documents produced against Raje are not yet verified.
“The question is imaginary. There is no technical and legal basis on which you can say there is any point of impropriety,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi told reporters when asked whether there will be any action against Swaraj and Raje.
“We have already made it clear that there is no corruption. There is no technical or legal definition of corruption or inappropriation that is not evident.
“The Opposition is using these issues to make a mountain out of a molehill for their own political gains on feeble grounds,” Trivedi said.