External affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj, must be cursing the humanitarian side to her personality. The diminutive minister is being cornered and harassed by the opposition parties and various other critics for ‘allegedly’ helping Lalit Modi get travel documents for an emergency visit to Portugal, where his cancer-stricken wife was receiving advanced treatment.
It has become a national concern. ‘Roti’, ‘Kapda’ aur ‘makaan’ have become secondary issues. Instead of addressing the problems of water, electricity, women safety, diseases, environment, pollution, law & order etc, the opposition and critics are busy having a field day asking for Sushma’s head.
Speculations are rife that the Congress party is getting back at Lalit Modi for his role in the IPL-Shashi Tharoor case. Shashi Tharoor had to step down because of the charges of financial fraud levelled by Lalit Modi. The Congress could be trying to get level.
Lalit Modi remains wanted by the Indian authorities for questioning. The charges Modi faces stay. The Indian Government is in talks with the UK authorities for his extradition. Investigations are on to prove his guilt in the IPL scandal. He is being investigated by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged financial impropriety in multi-billion dollar Indian Premier League. Linking this with his visit to Portugal is a motivated move by certain sections in the Congress party, dedicated to bringing down Government ministers and top officials.
When approached for her ruling on whether Lalit Modi should be granted travel documents, Sushma Swaraj conveyed India had no problem. Why should any Government have a problem if a man wanted to be beside his cancer-stricken wife? Sushma Swaraj’s decision, based purely on humanitarian grounds, had no connection with Lalit Modi’s status in India as a fugitive, although the charges have not been proved yet. It is all speculation and circumstantial.
Lalit Modi pointed out that he would have approached anybody occupying the minister’s position, it is only incidental that Sushma Swaraj happened to be the minister of the day. For a moment, let’s imagine former finance minister P Chidambaram as the foreign minister today. If Modi approached him, saying his wife was serious and battling cancer, would he have denied him? What if Lalit Modi’s wife lost the battle and couldn’t hold his hand for one last time because Chidambaram didn’t allow it?
Politicising the whole issue only goes to show how badly mixed up the priorities have become. Congress spokespersons – Sachin Pilot, Rajeev Shukla, who is himself the most unsuitable person to be IPL commissioner, Sanjay Jha and a host of other leaders, do nothing but give TV bytes all day long, bashing the BJP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj.
From legal viewpoint, Sushma Swaraj did not break any law, so let’s not be confused about it.
‘Bofors’ is still fresh in memories
Congress should be careful when they make noise. They should not forget the manner in which the ‘Bofors’ case panned out decades ago. Had Twitter, Facebook and other social media existed back then, the entire Narsimha Rao Congress government would have collapsed! There was a clear Italian connection, involving the Italian arms contractor and businessman, Ottavio Quattrocchi, who was close to Rajiv Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and the Gandhi family. The Gandhis allegedly received kickbacks from Bofors.
When the controversy erupted and the role of Congress was exposed, the Government ensured Quattrocchi was overnight transported out of India.
What could be a bigger betrayal?