BJP MP calls Lalit Modi a ‘bhagoda’; Congress questions PM’s continued silence

BJP MP R K Singh on Tuesday struck a discordant note over party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje extending help to former IPL boss Lalit Modi, saying "any help to a fugitive is legally and morally wrong".

New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2015 7:20 pm
lalit modi, lalit modi controversy, sushma swaraj, vasundhara raje, modi bhagoda, bhagoda, modi, ipl, ipl row, fugitive, ED, enforcement directorate, latest news He said Lalit Modi had been evading judicial warrants and summons and he was clearly a fugitive and any help given to him or any meeting with him was wrong.

BJP MP R K Singh on Tuesday struck a discordant note over party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje extending help to former IPL boss Lalit Modi, saying “any help to a fugitive is legally and morally wrong”.

He urged the government to take all measures to bring him back to India to face the law.

Singh’s strong comments are the first public criticism by a ruling party MP against the help extended to Lalit Modi by External Affairs Minister Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Raje, an issue which has snowballed into a major political storm for the Narendra Modi government even though BJP has defended both the leaders.

“If anybody helps a ‘bhagoda’ (fugitive), it is wrong. This is wrong legally as well as morally. If anybody meets a fugitive, it is absolutely wrong. Whosoever has helped him, I think it is completely wrong,” Singh, a former Home Secretary, told reporters here.

He said Lalit Modi had been evading judicial warrants and summons and he was clearly a fugitive and any help given to him or any meeting with him was wrong.

He did not name either Swaraj or Raje.

Asked if Lalit Modi was being “saved”, Singh said the departments concerned should be doing their job.

“I have given my view,” he said when asked about BJP’s defence of both the leaders and added that he would not like to name individuals.

Singh said the government should appeal against the Delhi High Court order which restored the former IPL commissioner’s passport and demanded that his property should be attached, if needed.

“All measures should be taken to bring him back to India so that he faces the law,” he said.

Swaraj and Raje have been facing flak for helping Lalit Modi in procuring travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India.

Modi, 49, travelled to London in 2010 after the Indian Premier League (IPL) became embroiled in allegations of match-fixing and illegal

Meanwhile, the Congress said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was losing political capital by trying to protect foreign minister and Rajasthan chief minister through his continued silence on the “indefensible issue”.

The party alleged that Union ministers were also giving clean chits to both the leaders without any investigation and probe, thus “exposing” the double standards of BJP.

PCC president Sachin Pilot, while demanding resignation of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and state chief minister Vasundhara Raje for helping former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi, said that the allegations against them were levelled by Lalit Modi himself and not the Congress party.

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