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No issue with Lalit Modi's travel request, admits Sushma Swaraj, Congress demands her resignation

No issue with Lalit Modi's travel request, admits Sushma Swaraj, Congress demands her resignation

Sushma said that she intervened on humanitarian grounds as Modi's wife needed treatment for cancer in Portugal.

New Delhi: The Congress on Sunday demanded External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's resignation after she admitted that she had no objection to former Indian Premiere League chief Lalit Modi's request to allow him to travel out of UK. She tweeted admitting that she spoke to this effect with British MP Keith Vaz and the British High Commissioner.

Stressing on the party's demand, senior Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said, "If allegations against Sushma Swaraj are true, she must step down. PM Narendra Modi must intervene in the matter and order a probe."

The Congress has also demanded a probe into the incident. Senior leader Digvijaya Singh said, "Shocked by allegations levelled against Sushma Swaraj. She should take moral responsibility and quit. PM Modi must intervene in the matter and order a probe."

Backing Singh, another Congress leader Sachin Pilot said, "PM Modi must intervene in the matter and order a probe. If allegations against Sushma are true, she must step down. We all know that Lalit Modi is a known criminal offender. Why was Sushma Swaraj in touch with Lalit Modi? The modi government's doublespeak has been exposed."

Condemning Sushma's move, Janata Dal United leader KC Tyagi said, "Sushma Swaraj must come clean on why she helped Lalit Modi. We condemn Sushma Swaraj's intervention to help a criminal like Modi."

Sushma said that she intervened as Modi's wife needed treatment in Portugal.

Sushma tweeted, "Sometime in July 2014 Lalit Modi spoke to me that his wife was suffering from cancer and her surgery was fixed for August 4 in Portugal. He told me that he had to be present in the hospital to sign the consent papers. He informed me that he had applied for travel documents in London and UK government was prepared to give him the travel documents."

CNN-IBN has also accessed Vaz's letter reportedly written to the UK immigration office wherein he said that he did speak to Sushma on the issue and she told him that the Indian government has no issues with Lalit Modi's travel request.

Sushma tweeted, "Taking a humanitarian view, I conveyed to the British High Commissioner that "British Government should examine the request of Lalit Modi as per British rules and regulations. If the British Government chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi, - that will not spoil our bilateral relations. Keith Vaz also spoke to me and I told him precisely what I told the British High Commissioner. I genuinely believe that in a situation such as this, giving emergency travel documents to an Indian citizen cannot and should not spoil relations between the two countries. I may also state that only a few days later, Delhi High Court quashed UPA government's order impounding Lalit Modi's passport on the ground that the said order was unconstitutional being violative of fundamental rights and he got his passport back."

Modi had earlier been restricted from travelling out of UK. His Indian passport was revoked amidst allegations of match fixing.

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