Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Friday called External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj an “expert in theatrics”. Party vice-president Rahul also accused the minister’s family of receiving money from Lalit Modi for his freedom.
The sharp rejoinder came after Swaraj on Thursday, while defending her action of facilitating British travel documents for the controversial IPL ex-chief to apparently attend to his cancer-stricken wife, asked what Sonia would have done in the same situation.
“Swaraj is an expert in theatrics,” said Sonia while joining the protests on Parliament premises against Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan suspending 25 Congress members for unruly behaviour. “I would have certainly done my best to help the lady (Lalit’s wife), but not by breaking the law,” she said in response to Swaraj’s question.
Rahul, on his part, said: “As Sonia Gandhi's son, I can say she would not have done the same thing.” With Rahul in-charge of Parliamentary strategy now, the Congress has been going all-out against Swaraj.
“Whenever there is a robbery or theft, a financial transfer takes place. There has been a financial transfer here as well. Swaraj’s family received money from Modi. She should tell the country exactly how much he paid her family to ensure he stayed out of jail,” Rahul said.
The BJP fielded HRD Minister Smiriti Irani to take on the Congress' first family after Sonia and Rahul's comments.
“The Gandhi family is an exception. They don't toil in the sun to earn their bread. I condemn this kind of allegation (against Swaraj). The Congress is running away from discussion as it has no proof. What do they know about 'khoon paseenay ki kamai' (hard-earned money)? It is easier to give a 1-5 minute bite than a 1.5-hour speech,” Irani told reporters.