New Delhi : As parliament remains deadlocked over Lalitgate and Vyapam scams, the Congress has made a rather thinly disguised attempt to link Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the former IPL chief Lalit Modi. Disclosing details of correspondence and meetings between the two Modis, and then Gujarat minister Amit Shah, senior lawyer Kapil Sibal tried to build a case that the PM is silent on the Swaraj affair because he is “soft” on the tainted cricket boss.
In support of his allegation, Sibal furnished what he claimed was an email sent by Lalit Modi in 2009 to an official of the Rajasthan Royals IPL franchise, promising that he was “very close” to Mr Modi, who was then Gujarat Chief Minister. Sibal read out from a sheaf of papers: “Shantanu Chari of Rajasthan Royals wrote to Lalit Modi, saying they wanted to work out a key relationship. Same day, Lalit Modi replied,
”I”m meeting Narendra Modi on Sunday. They will do what is needed. He is very close to me.”
The Congress leader reeled off many dates, alleging that the then Gujarat Chief Minister and his close aide Amit Shah, who is now BJP chief, had as the president and vice-president of the state”s cricket association facilitated a meeting between Lalit Modi and industrialist Gautam Adani.
“Modi-Modi ki jugalbandi ka raaz kya hai (what is the secret behind the Modi-Modi nexus)?” asked Sibal, who had represented Lalit Modi”s arch rival and former cricket board chief N Srinivasan. He also demanded as to why an FIR was not filed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who in his capacity as an official of the BCCI had submitted a report that documented the efforts made by Lalit Modi to rig the bidding process for the grant of two franchisees to the Adani and Videocon groups. Incidentally, Adani was the business development associate of the Gujarat Cricket Association when Narendra Modi was its president and Amit Shah the vice-president. He also wanted the government to seriously pursue the case now that Lalit Modi has an arrest warrant against him.