External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today admitted that she wrote to senior Labour MP Keith Vaz to expedite the travel documents of ex-BCCI vice president and former Indian Premier League chairman Lalit Modi. Responding to the report, Ms Sushma Swaraj said that sometime in July 2014 she took a humanitarian view of Lalit Modi’s request that his wife was suffering from cancer and her surgery was fixed for 4th August in Portugal.
In a series of tweets, Mrs Swaraj said Lalit Modi informed her that he had to be present in the hospital to sign the consent papers. Lalit also informed her that he had applied for travel documents in London and UK Government was prepared to give him the travel documents but they were restrained by a UPA Government communication that this will spoil Indo-UK relations.
The Sunday Times from London has reported that the then Chairman of the powerful Commons home affairs select committee Kieth Vaz personally wrote to Sarah Rapson, the director general of UK visas and immigration, in an effort to expedite the case of Lalit Modi. The Sunday Times has reported that Mr Vaz could face an inquiry by the parliamentary watchdog after intervening with the country’s most senior immigration official on behalf of a controversial Indian cricketing tycoon seeking British travel papers.
Reacting to the development, Congress leader Shakeel Ahmed said his party will demand resignation of External affairs minister if allegations are found true. Mr Ahmed said the Prime Minister has to intervene immediately on the issue as Lalit Modi is an Enforcement Directorate offender. Janata Dal United leader K C Tyagi has said Ms Swaraj should come clean on the allegations being charged against her.