Odisha News Insight

Not helped Lalit Modi on travel documents: Sushma Swaraj

Sushma-Swaraj1New Delhi, Aug 3: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said she never helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi in getting travel documents from the British authorities.

The minister told Rajya Sabha that she has been waiting for the past last two weeks to make her stand clear.

“This issue about me is being raised since the last two weeks. I had informed through the leader of the house that I am ready for discussion. Since last seven days, I am sitting here every day just so that a discussion may start,” she said amid ruckus in the house.

“But they don’t start the discussion, they just create ruckus. The facts, this notice is based on, are baseless and untrue… I never requested the British government to give travel documents to Lalit Modi,” said Sushma Swaraj.

Her remarks came as the first two weeks of the ongoing monsoon session have washed out amid opposition protests over some issues, including Sushma Swaraj’s alleged help to Lalit Modi and the Vyapam scam.

Earlier, Congress members from Andhra Pradesh wanted to raise the issue of special status for the state after its bifurcation.

Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the government was ready for the discussion.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agarwal, meanwhile, objected to comments that MPs should not get salary as parliament was not functioning.

He said all MPs were having subsidised food in parliament canteen as well and objected to the remark.

Agarwal also said there should be a discussion on the issue covering all similar events since 2004.

Congress leader Anand Sharma demanded a response from Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issues being raised by the opposition.

“This house is in stalemate because of arrogance of the government, the prime minister is not responding… The house cannot be ordered for conduct of business unless and until the issues that have been raised for accountability and action are responded by none other but the prime minister,” he said.

Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P.J. Kurien pointed out that the prime minister cannot intervene unless there was a discussion.

“Unless you start a discussion how can the prime minister come and respond…” he said.

The upper house on Monday saw its first adjournment, soon after brief remarks by Sushma Swaraj, till 12 noon.

When it met for the question hour, the scene was no different and Chairman M. Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

The monsoon session of parliament, that began on July 21, has so far not been able to transact any major business due to repeated adjournments. It is scheduled to last till August 13. (IANS)

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