Remove Sushma, Raje; probe at highest level: CPI-M

New Delhi, July 21 (IANS) The CPI-M on Tuesday demanded the removal of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over their alleged links with former IPL chief Lalit Modi as well as a “probe at the highest level” into the matter.

“The charges against Sushma Swaraj and Raje are very serious and need to be thoroughly investigated at the highest level, which can be a Supreme Court-monitored probe or a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe like in the 2G scam,” Communist Party of India-Marxist general secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a press conference here.

“Till the probe is completed, the external affairs minister and the Rajasthan chief minister should not remain in office. Either they should be removed or they should demit office on their own,” he said.

Yechury said his party’s stand was the same as far as the Vyapam scam was concerned. “It is a deadly cocktail of crime and corruption. It is a huge Pandora’s box,” he quipped.

There should also be a probe into this (Vyapam) scam and before that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan should also be removed, the CPI-M leader said.

He said the removal of these dignitaries was essential to ensure an unbiased probe.

On the NDA government’s offer of a discussion on the Lalit Modi issue, Yechury said a discussion cannot substitute for a probe.

Yechury said the government should apply its own yardstick (while in opposition) as during the 2G scam the then opposition BJP also held parliament hostage till its demand for a joint parliamentary panel probe was met.

Asserting that the onus of running the House was on the government, the CPI-M leader said: “Remove the ministers, conduct an investigation. After this, we are ready for a discussion.”

While the Lok Sabha was on Tuesday adjourned after obituary references, the Rajya Sabha was disrupted by the Opposition led by the Congress over the Lalit Modi issue.

Yechury also dismissed as “speculation” reports of a division in the Opposition ranks.

He also questioned the prime minister’s silence on the issue, saying, “The prime minister has become Maunendra Modi.”

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