Lalit Modi row: Swaraj just made "compassionate intervention", says Ravi Shankar Prasad

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New Delhi, Jun 17: Government today saw as "just a compassionate intervention" Union Minister Sushma Swaraj's help to tainted former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi in securing British travel documents and preferred to wait for "details" with regard to the controversy over Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje allegedly backing his immigration plea.

"As far as impropriety allegation is conerned, I don't buy that logic. It was just a case of compassionate intervention for a humanitarian cause. That's all," Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters at the Cabinet briefing.

'Swaraj made compassionate intervention'

He also said that party chief Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have already spoken on the issue and he has nothing more to say.

With regard to the surfacing of a document in which Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje allegedly backed Lalit Modi's immigration plea, Prasad appeared a bit guarded.

[Effigies of Sushma Swaraj and Lalit Modi burnt in Kolkata]

"As regards to the Rajasthan issue, the details will have to be enquired into. The details will have to be taken," he said, recalling that the Chief Minister had already spoken on the matter yesterday.

Prasad also took potshots at former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who today demanded release of all letters written to British authorities on the Lalit Modi case during the UPA rule which he said will answer accusations against Congress and him.

"I think Chidambaram is becoming wiser after losing power. That red corner, blue notice or a shade of blue notice was pending for many years," Prasad said.

Asserting that his take is very clear on the issue, the Union Minister said,"The proceedings against Mr (Lalit) Modi have been explained by the Finance Minister yesterday.

"I have nothing more to add except to reiterate that purely as a case of humanitarian cause because the gentleman's wife was suffering from cancer, a very limited intervention was made that the government of India had no objection in the event of the government of UK deciding to give him that leave."

The Union Minister also sounded dismissive of former IPL chief Lalit Modi's claims in an interview saying Raje had supported in writing his immigration plea in Britain and that he has a "family" relationship with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj whose husband and daughter had provided legal services "free of cost".

"I had seen the glimples of the interview in a very far off exotic place being talked out here," he said, stressing that even in the documents which have come on television, "there is no signature".

Prasad said "no" when asked whether the issues of Swaraj and Raje vis-a-vis Lalit Modi, were discussed in the Cabinet meeting.

PTI 

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