Lalit Modi visa row: Govt, BJP, RSS stand by Sushma Swaraj, reject Oppn demand for her resignation

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj

New Delhi, June 14: The government, the BJP as well as RSS on Sunday rejected opposition demands for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s resignation over the Lalit Modi travel documents issue, asserting that she had done no wrong and only acted on “humanitarian” grounds.

According to reports, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj also talked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After meeting the Prime Minister over the controversy, the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said: “We want to make it clear that whatever she has done is right. We justify it and the government completely stands by her.”

Rajnath Singh’s comment came after reports that Sushma had written to British lawmaker Keith Vaz to recommend travel documents for Lalit Modi, scam-tainted former IPL commissioner, for visiting Portugal.

Swaraj reportedly said she had written to Vaz on “humanitarian grounds” after Lalit Modi said his wife was ill.

The Home Minister said Swaraj told Vaz to do only what was “allowed” as per the rules and regulations of the UK, adding “any person with humanitarian approach” should do the same as Lalit Modi had said that his wife was suffering from cancer and he needed travel documents to visit her in Portugal.

When referred to opposition demands for her resignation, the Home Minister said, “I don’t agree”.

Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah also strongly defended Swaraj, saying she had acted in a “humanitarian” manner and “no big moral” issue was involved.

Decrying “uproar” over the issue, Shah said attempts to gain “political mileage will not yield any results” as he attacked opposition Congress by referring to the Bofors scam and Union Carbide controversies.

Defending Sushma Swaraj, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leader Indresh Kumar said: “I know Sushma Swaraj for a long time…I can say that she is a nationalist and a patriotic woman. She has never compromised with nationalism and patriotism.”

“She is full of human values. Whatever action she takes these, they are based on these (nationalism and patriotism). Those accusing her should look within themselves, they cannot establish something which is not true,” Indresh Kumar added.

(With Agency Inputs)

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