In the wake of allegations that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi in leaving India, the Congress demanded that she must resign on "moral" grounds."Sushma Swaraj must resign on moral grounds," Congress leader Digvijaya Singh said."The minister backed a person like Lalit Modi, against whom a lookout notice was there ... All this is very serious. The external affairs minister is supporting a person who is on the run," Digvijaya Singh said.
The demand came after a British newspaper said Keith Vaz, one of Britain's longest-serving Indian-origin MPs, used Sushma Swaraj's name to pressure Britain's top immigration official to grant travel papers to Modi.Singh also demanded a clarification from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
Addressing a press conference later, Congress spokesman Randeep Surjewala questioned the reasons which forced Sushma Swaraj to help Lalit Modi, saying it exposed a clear nexus between a money launderer and match-fixer, Lalit Modi, with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)."Has a new rule been formed for helping an absconder? Will he be helped in future also? This is anti-national," he said."I want to ask the prime minister, home minister and (BJP president) Amit Shah, if tomorrow Dawood wants help on humanitarian grounds, will they help," he wondered.Surjewala also raised finger over the role of Prime Minister Modi, saying it looks like a case of "Modi helping Modi" and blamed entire BJP government for helping an accused Lalit Modi. "It proves a case of gross impropriety on the part of the external affairs minister. It makes her position completely untenable," said the congress leader.
He also raised question on the e-mail exchanged between Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal and British MP Keith Vaz with Lalit Modi.He added that Swaraj was helping a fugitive against whom a red corner notice was issued by the enforcement directorate and also being probed by probe agency for gross financial irregularities and duping authorities and people.He demanded Swaraj's resignation on moral standards while asked explanation from the government over the entire matter.Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief Mayawati said the issue would be raised in parliament when it meets next. "We want this matter probed... We will raise it in parliament," Mayawati said.The external affairs minister, meanwhile, took to twitter to clarify that she helped Lalit Modi in going out of India on "humanitarian grounds" to meet his cancer-afflicted wife who was to undergo surgery in Portugal in 2013.She said the incident took place before she even became a minister.