A day after Sushma Swaraj explained her stand on the Lalit Modi controversy, there was no let up in the Congress attack on her with Sonia Gandhi rejecting her claims as theatrics while Rahul Gandhi said the whole matter was kept a secret as is done in a theft.
As Congress leaders and other opposition party leaders continued their protest against the suspension of Congress MPs for the fourth day in Parliament complex, the Congress President dismissed Sushmas defence as drama.
Replying to the External Affairs Minister question if she would have acted differently if faced with such a situation, Sonia Gandhi said, Sushma Swaraj is doing drama, she is an expert in theatrics.... I would have certainly done my best to help the lady but not by breaking the law.
The Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi went a step further, saying the External Affairs Minister should explain how much money Swarajs family got from Lalit Modi.
When a theft occurs, two things take place. Whatever happens is in secrecy and there is a financial transfer. What Sushmaji did was by maintaining secrecy and keeping her ministry in the dark, he said. Sushmaji should tell the country how much money her family, her daughter and husband got from Lalit Modi to keep him out of jail, Rahul told reporters. The Congress leader said My mother would not have acted like her. Taking a dig at Swaraj, he remarked, Sushmaji made a very eloquent but a very hollow speech. She spoke when the opposition was not in the House.
The External Affairs Minister had yesterday made an emotional statement in the Lok Sabha, saying she had not helped Lalit Modi but his cancer-stricken wife and questioned if Sonia Gandhi would have acted differently if faced with such a situation. She had insisted that she had made no request or recommendation to the UK government for giving travel documents to Lalit Modi but had left the decision to Britain.
She said she had only told the British government that relations with that country will not be affected if they choose to provide him travel documents to visit Portugal to be with his wife who was facing life threatening ailment and required immediate treatment which was full of risk. His wife has been suffering from cancer for the last 17 years and it is the 10th time it has recurred… I want to ask what Sonia Gandhi would have done had she been in my place. Would she have left her to die, she said, reading from the reports of Portuguese doctors and the statement of Modi wife.