Sonia calls her ‘expert in theatrics’, Rahul asks her about payoff from Lalit Modi.
New Delhi : A day after the Congress party dubbed it as an ”emotional tear-jerker” its leaders were unrelenting in their criticism of the Union external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj”s defence of her decision to recommend travel documents for the former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
In an emotionally charged statement delivered to empty opposition benches in the Lok Sabha, Swaraj had also dragged the Congress president Sonia Gandhi into the debate. “Agar meri jagah Soniaji hoti to kya karti, marne ke liye chhod deti- If Sonia (Gandhi) was in my position, what would she have done, would she have left her (Lalit Modi”s wife) to die?,”she had said justify that she had not done anything wrong when she intervened in favour of Modi whose wife is suffering from cancer.
But Sonia Gandhi whose long absences from the country apparently for the purposes of treatment of an undisclosed ailment are always a matter of speculation was unimpressed by this line of defence. “Sushma is doing drama, she is an expert in theatrics. I would”ve done my best to help the lady but not by breaking the law,” she quipped when asked about it at the Congress dharna in Parliament.
However, her son and deputy Rahul took the line of attack much further and added a dose of acrimony to it. He said:”Sushmaji asked if Soniaji would have done the same thing? As her son I”ll tell her that Soniaji would not have done it.” He also injected his bit of drama and said that the minister”s speech was hollow. Going a step further, he demanded that Swaraj should explain how much money her family got from the former cricket administrator. Both Swaraj”s husband and daughter have worked as lawyers for Lalit Modi and his business firms.
The Congress also punched holes into the minister”s defence by questioning in the procedure adopted by her. “Why did she call up the British High Commissioner directly and not through the foreign secretary as per the protocol,” queried senior congress leader Digvijaya Singh.
Pointing out that Swaraj had admitted on the floor of the house that she had told the British High Commissioner that “if the British government chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi that will not spoil our bilateral relations”, Singh asked: ”Why did she not take the opinion of the foreign office? Or the Enforcement Directorate and the finance ministry who have registered cases against Lalit Modi?”
In this mode, there is hardly any surprise that the Congress protest against the Modi government”s refusal to accept their demand for Swaraj”s resignation is going to continue into the last week of the monsoon session.
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