New Delhi: Congress on Friday hit back at BJP on the Lalit Modi controversy accusing the NDA government of "painstakingly attempting to bury the scandal".
A day after the BJP raked up the National Herald case, the AICC released two letters on the Lalit Modi matter written in 2013, one by then Finance Minister P Chidambaram and the then UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to bolster its case that deportation of the former IPL chief was the "appropriate expeditious remedy" for trying a fugitive like him.
arty's chief spokesman Randeep Surjewala told reporters that Modi government, including Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, has "painstakingly attempted to bury the scandal" by asserting that deportation of Lalit Modi was "not possible". Both inside and outside Parliament, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj have also maintained that the only option was to proceed with extradition of Lalit Modi, he said, adding that the Prime Minister has still maintained silence on the whole issue.
"Modi government has taken this stance with full knowledge that extradition process is lengthy enough to take 8-10 years by which public memory will fade away from the scandal," he alleged.
He demanded that Prime Minister came clean before the nation on his commitment to bring back black money launderers and punish the ilk of Lalit Modi.
"Modi government must also state the reasons as to why it has continued to help an Indian fugitive like Lalit Modi," Surjewala said and renewed the demand for removal of Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.
Asked whether the Congress would bring a privilege motion against Swaraj for misleading Parliament over the issue of deportation of Lalit Modi, he said that the Congress Parliamentary Party would take "appropriate decision" in the matter.
A senior party leader, who declined to be identified, said that a breach of privilege case could also be made out against Jaitley.
In the letter to his UK counterpart, Chidambaram had specifically cited 2784 cases, where Emergency Certificates were issued to High Commission in five years up to 2013 and where deportation was done by UK authorities.
Modi government has refused to place in public domain various communications between Chidambaram and Osborne on the issue.
Chidambaram had written three communications dated 08.07.2013, 21.08.2013 and 14.03.2014 for deportation of Lalit Modi instead of extradition.