The Congress party and the Aam Admi Party (AAP) on Monday continued their attack on External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over grant of travel permission to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi. While the AAP sought clarification on the issue from Swaraj, the Congress party said her excuses on the issue were "totally bogus" and demanded her resignation.
Alleging that there was "quid pro quo" involved in her "assistance" to Lalit Modi in obtaining his UK travel documents, the Congress party demanded that the scam- tainted former IPL Commissioner be brought back and tried in India.
Congress leader PL Punia said, "There are circumstances which establish contact between Sushma Swaraj and Lalit Modi. As a quid pro quo, Sushma Swaraj has done favour to a tainted person who is accused of Rs.700 crore money laundering, tax evasion and several other charges.
"There is a notice which has been issued against him. But, he was provided special favours. Within 24 hours, Modi was given total clearance to travel abroad. There is official position that continues to be same. But unofficially, she provided him help."
Terming Swaraj’s claim of helping Modi on "humanitarian" grounds as "totally bogus" and one not standing scrutiny of facts, Punia told reporters here what has been said on behalf of the NDA government and BJP chief Amit Shah in the Minister’s defence is "a lame excuse".
"According to Portuguese law, it is not required for husband to sign papers before his wife goes under surgery.
There was a circular from Government of India asking British Government not to allow him to travel abroad. So, what the minister is saying is very weird," he said.
The Congress leader said that the Swaraj family has had "long association" with Modi and on the basis of favours it received from Modi, he was helped, Punia said.
"Our stand is very clear, whether it was during UPA government’s time, whether it is now that in national interest Lalit Modi should be taken to task, law must take its course, he should be brought back to India. Trial should be conducted here," he said.
"Sushma Swaraj should resign as it is she who set high standard as LOP (Leader of Opposition) and asked every UPA minister whose name cropped up in scam, to resign," AAP leader Ashutosh tweeted.
"We aren’t demanding the foreign minister&’s resignation but we want her to clarify her actions to the country," AAP’s Kumar Vishwas said.