Lalit Modi visa row: Sena backs Swaraj, says PM Modi should probe ‘political game plan’

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Shiv Sena countered Congress allegations against external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday, saying Prime Minister Narendra Modi should probe who was behind the “political game plan” to “malign” her reputation.

Backing the external affairs minister in the row over helping scam-tainted former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi obtain British travel papers, the Sena said the attempt was to oust her from the BJP, and from national politics.

“This controversy is being fuelled by using a section of the media. It is vital for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order an investigation on who is so keen on maligning her clean reputation of 35-40 years,” the Sena said in an edit in its mouthpiece ‘Saamana’.

“If somebody is attacking the external affairs ministry to weaken it and thereby trying to demoralise the Modi government, the person is ultimately causing harm to the country. This a very big political game that needs to be ended by PM Modi,” it added.

The Sena also said there was no need for fuss over helping an Indian on “humanitarian” grounds and accused the Congress for “ behaving as if Swaraj has helped get bail to arrested fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim or Kasab.”

Warning the government that PM Modi and his colleagues too might be targeted in the future, the edit said similar allegations had been leveled against home minister Rajnath Singh’s son in the recent past, and also against Nitin Gadkari, when he took over as the president of the BJP.

Congress meanwhile stepped up its demand for removal of Swaraj as external affairs minister saying her support to Lalit Modi was “immoral and illegal.”

“The BJP, the external affairs minister and the whole government have come out to save an accused of the enforcement directorate. The suit boot ki sarkar is doing everything to save an economic offender,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar told reporters.

He said the email correspondence between her and the former IPL boss showed that the government went all out to save a person accused of violations and misappropriation of crores of rupees.

Taking a dig at Prime Minister, he said that Narendra Modi should speak out on this issue in his next ‘Mann ki Baat’ address on the All India Radio.