oppn parties The Lalit Modi Affair: BJP Wrong in Backing Sushma & Raje

News Snippets

  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
  • The Bihar assembly passes a resolution to stick to the old NPR form, making it the first NDA state to do so
  • Arms deal for advanced helicopters, worth $3bn, signed with the US, but the trade deal remains elusive
  • Trump says he has a good equation with Pak PM Imran Khan and assures India that Pakistan is working to reduce cross border terrorism
  • Trump once again offers to mediate in the Kashmir issue
  • Trump says it is up to India to decide on the CAA
  • US President Donald Trump says PM Modi wants religious freedom for all
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
The Lalit Modi Affair: BJP Wrong in Backing Sushma & Raje

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2015-09-24 17:25:32

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
After sifting through all the material in public domain, it is clear that impropriety amounting to corruption was committed by both Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje Scindia in helping Lalit Modi. The “I regularly help Indians abroad on humanitarian grounds” plea by the external affairs minister does not hold much water as there is a huge difference between helping a distressed commoner and a fugitive on the run.

Lalit Modi is nothing but a conman who has been trying to somehow give legitimacy to the financial jugglery he committed for benefitting himself and his circle of friends and acquaintances when he was the self proclaimed czar of the IPL. There is no doubt that he almost single-handedly made IPL the awesome brand that it is, but that did not give him the license to loot the tournament. The worst part was having committed felony, he ran away.

There was a look-out notice for Modi, forget the colour. Swaraj as the external affairs minister must have been aware of that. There was also a communication from the ministry (albeit during the UPA II tenure) that any help to the fugitive would ‘spoil’ Indo-UK relations. Despite this, Swaraj intervened in his case for travel papers by informing the UK authorities that relations will not be strained if help was provided to him. That, in effect, was Modi’s license to roam about the world and lead a freewheeling and bohemian life which a conman cannot.

Even if we forget about the conflict of interest in Swaraj’s daughter being on Modi’s legal team and the plain obligatory favour of her husband asking him to get his relative admitted in a UK college, the very fact that Swaraj helped Modi get travel papers from the UK government when his Indian passport was impounded amounts to nepotism not befitting a minister.

Vasundhara Raje’s impropriety was even greater. She signed court papers (as claimed by Modi and can be easily verified from the courts) to further his case for travel papers in the UK. Where was the pressing need to help a fugitive? It is clear that family friendship and past and maybe future favours expected were the guiding features why she helped. But politicians of her stature do not have the freedom to help a person accused of siphoning off huge funds abroad even if they are chaddi friends.

It is sad that politicians in India (as elsewhere) try to help friends on the wrong side of the law instead of asking them to come clean and promising help in legal procedures. It is one thing to provide help to a friend to fight his case and completely another to help him get away with his bounty. Lalit Modi was allowed to flee India (although that was during UPA II tenure and many Congress and UPA partner parties’ politicians are also involved) and then was allowed to roam about the world as if nothing had happened.

The government seems to be moving fast to contain the damage. But getting Modi back to India to stand trial for his misdemeanors will not lessen the charges against both Swaraj and Scindia. They have to face the consequences of their actions. But the BJP is adamant not to take action against them. In the process, the opposition will not let Parliament to function properly and important bills will get delayed. The nation will suffer due to the past follies of two important BJP leaders.