New Delhi: A furious Sushma Swaraj on Thursday flayed the Opposition for continuing to protest over the Lalit Modi scandal and delaying Parliament proceedings. I challenge the Opposition to produce any evidence against me in the fiasco, Sushma dared the Congress.
For the last few months I have been patiently waiting to reply on the allegations being made aganist me. I have been waiting to speak on the allegations before the session is over and I am not able to put my side before everyone.
The allegations being made against me that I approached the British government to give Lalit Modi travel visa are baseless. I have never made any such request or recommendation to give Lalit Modi any travel document, she said.
The whole issue should have stopped with the UK governments reply (to a question by The Economic Times) that Modi travel papers were issued to him in accordance with the rules. But the Opposition kept the matter alive, Sushma said.
Whatever I did (to help Modi get his travel visa) was done on humanitarian grounds as his wife has cancer and the hospital where she is undergoing treatment said that Modis presence was important. What I did was help an Indian woman. I want to ask the Opposition, did I commit a crime? If I did, I am ready to face the consequences, Sushma said.
Sushma is accused of aiding the former IPL chairman obtain travel papers to travel to Portugal, where Modis wife is undergoing treatment, in 2014.
The Opposition reacts:
- Suspended Congress MP Ranjeeta Ranjan: Sushma Swaraj is using the woman angle to blackmail the House. Ministers do not recommend help for poor women and here a crorepati was being recommended.
- Ambika Soni, Congress: Our protest is not against anyone home affairs or against someones wife. The point is Swaraj asked the British government to help someone who was on red alert in India.
- Ashok Chavan, Congress: How can she make a statement when our MP are not even in the House? We stick to our demand that she should resign first and then debate.
- Sitaram Yechuri, CPI-M: No one who is accused of something says they have done it. Our demand is simple. There should be an inquiry and till then they should leave their position.