Sushma Swaraj shouts innocence in Rajya Sabha: ‘Never helped Lalit Modi get travel documents’

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After issuing a statement on the first day of the monsoon session of Parliament that she was open to making her stance on the Lalit Modi controversy public, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj managed to make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Monday in which she pleaded innocence. However, she was drowned out by opposition MPs shouting slogans against her.

“I have been coming here for the last seven days in Rajya Sabha just so that the discussion can be held on this matter. But the discussion is never being held and they are always creating chaos,” Swaraj shouted over the din of Opposition MPs who had stormed into the well demanding her resignation.

Swaraj said that she was open to a discussion but said the facts on which a notice for discussion had been issued were false.

“The facts on the basis of which this notice has been issued are completely baseless and false,” Swaraj said.

The External Affairs Minister, who is accused of aiding the former IPL chairman obtain travel documents to travel to Portugal in 2014, said she had not interfered in the process in any manner.

“I have never never requested the British government for travel documents for Lalit Modi,” she said. Swaraj also said that she would like to have a discussion on the matter, but was drowned out by opposition MPs.

The Rajya Sabha was then adjourned for half an hour.

Swaraj has earlier defended her intervention in which she told the UK government that the issuance of travel documents for Modi to travel to Portugal wouldn’t affect ties between the two nations. The minister has claimed that her stance was taken since it was for a humanitarian cause. The BJP has backed her and has ruled out any possibility of her quitting over the issue.

The Opposition has been seeking Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s resignation over their links with the former IPL chairman. The Congress has accused the minister of conflict of interest by intervening in Modi’s case given her husband, Swaraj Kaushal, and daughter had represented the former IPL chairman in legal matters.

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