Sushma Swaraj row: AAP's Kumar Vishwas alleges PMO involvement

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New Delhi, Jun 15: Aam Aadmi Party today dragged the Prime Minister's Office into the raging row over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj extending help to scam-tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi alleging that "PMO may have been in the loop".

Mocking Swaraj's claim of helping Modi on "humanitarian" grounds, the party took a jibe at BJP asking it disclose other such actions taken on the same ground.

Swaraj row: AAP alleges PMO involvement

Addressing a press conference here, senior leader Kumar Vishwas said that Swaraj "may have been targeted". He said the issue was akin to a controversy involving Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh's son.

[Lalit Modi row: Shiv Sena comes out in support of Sushma Swaraj]

"There's a possibility that she's being targeted because there have been instances in the past when Ministers have been cut to size. We want the Minister, who is also a leader of tall stature, to come forward and clarify as to who all were involved in decision making," Vishwas said.

He said the episode raises a number of "fundamental questions" as Lalit Modi has an "blue corner notice against him". "It is being said that she took the decision on humanitarian grounds. But is the government going to take the same position when it comes to other criminals as well?" he asked.

"There's also an element of quid pro quo as Swaraj's daughter has been the legal counsel of (Lalit) Modi in the past," he told reporters. Underlining the need to dig deeper into the issue, Vishwas said PMO has been known to indulge in cutting Ministers to size.

"May be it is involved here as well. It is hard to believe that the decision was taken without the PMO's knowledge," he claimed.

The genesis of the latest controversy was disclosure of emails showing that Swaraj had spoken to Indian-origin British MP Keith Vaz and its High Commissioner here James Bevan favouring the grant of travel documents to Lalit Modi to go to Portugal, purportedly for his wife's cancer treatment in June last year.

Modi, who is wanted in India, has made London his home since 2010 to avoid a probe for alleged foreign exchange regulation violations in the T20 cricket tournament held in South Africa in 2009. The previous UPA government had revoked his passport and had pressed for his extradition.

PTI 

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