External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made last minute efforts to reach out to the Congress in an apparent attempt to soften their attack on her.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi told the Lok Sabha that Sushma had met him in Parliament on Tuesday and wanted to know “why was he angry with her”.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) Sushmaji met me. She held me by my hand and asked me why was I angry with her,” he said in the Lok Sabha while participating in a discussion on the Adjournment Motion on “Lalitgate”.
“I saw her in the eye and told her that I was speaking the truth. She lowered her gaze,” Rahul said while launching a scathing attack on Sushma demanding that she reveal the amount she received from former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi to save him from jail.
Rahul’s last minute participation in the debate came as the Congress was under sharp attack from members of other political parties for disrupting the House and amid general perception that Sushma had made a strong rebuttal of the allegations against her.
“IPL is the centre of black money. Lalit Modi is a symbol of black money. What happened to the prime minister’s promise of getting back black money? Why does the prime minister not have the guts to face this House,” the Congress vice-president said.
Rahul wanted Sushma to reveal whether she carried out the request from Lalit Modi to help him on humanitarian ground and why did she do it discreetly. “The Congress will not remain quiet, it cannot be silenced. The Congress will keep raising its voice,” he said as BJP members tried to shout him down.
The Congress leader’s posers to Sushma came after a spat between her and RSP member N K Premchandran on helping out people on “humanitarian” grounds.
Premchandran had demanded Sushma’s resignation contending that she had violated the oath of office by favouring Lalit Modi on humanitarian grounds. Sushma replied that if Premchandran had made a similar request, then she would have acted on it on humanitarian grounds as well.