Break ‘deafening’ silence on Lalit Modi issue, Congress asks PM

New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Congress on Wednesday asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to break his “deafening” silence on the Lalit Modi controversy amid fresh allegations that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s husband was offered a job by the former IPL chief.

“The prime minister owes it to the nation to break his silence on the issue,” senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi told the media.

“You (PM) are maintaining a deafening silence. They (BJP) are trying to brazen it out. We demand that the silence should be broken. It is a situation wherein more you try to hide, the more the truth comes out,” Singhvi said.

He said the Modi government seemed to be espousing different rules of morality for its own ministers.

Any attempts by the “London-based Modi to divert attention from the India-based Modi would not succeed”, Singhvi said.

Documents released on Wednesday show that the former Indian Premier League chairman offered a job to Sushma’s husband Swaraj Kaushal, months after India’s external affairs minister helped the tainted businessman obtain travel documents in the United Kingdom.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala asked Sushma Swaraj to come clean on the Lalit Modi issue.

“Sushma Swaraj must tell the people of the country how many times she has met Lalit Modi or if any of her family members had been in touch with the fugitive,” he said.

Surjewala demanded that the BJP government make public all letters exchanged between the previous UPA government and authorities in Britain over the Lalit Modi issue.

Taking a dig at the Modi government, the Congress leader said: “From Maulana Masood Azhar to Lalit Modi, from Kandahar to London, the NDA government has been helping such people on humanitarian grounds.”

Surjewala demanded the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.

“During the UPA government’s tenure, the Congress got the then foreign ministers Madhav Singh Solanki and Natwar Singh to resign on moral grounds. Prime Minister Narendra Modi should also follow suit and demand the resignations of Sushma Swaraj and Raje on moral grounds,” he said.

Singhvi said the fact that Swaraj Kaushal did not take up the offered job was not relevant. “To have a fugitive, to have the foreign minister’s husband being offered a job is enough,” he said.

“Does this justify the prime minister’s silence? Different ministers are saying there is no stigma. There is no guilt. Who is giving this certificate of innocence? The BJP ministers,” the Congress leader said.

Questioning the clean chit to the ministers by the BJP, he said: “Has the judgment been given by the Delhi High Court? There is a direct factual evidence of deceit and avoidance in the highest echelons of government.”

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