Hitting out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for praising chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan while remaining silent on their "illegal" acts, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi said that "Congress will allow Parliament to function only after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj discloses her family's financial transactions with Lalit Modi".
The Congress Vice President on 10 August attacked Swaraj for being "secretly" kind and charitable to Lalit Modi, whom he termed as a criminal, and asked her to tell the country how much money she and her family "have received" in their bank accounts from the former IPL chief.
"We also agree that Parliament must function. But, we have raised a basic issue. We have said, and I have said it three times, Sushma Swaraj ji, the chief minister of Rajasthan and the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh have carried out in some cases illegal acts. In Madhya Pradesh there are murders happening and our Prime Minister does not feel it necessary to comment on them.
"He praises the chief ministers. He completely ignores the fact that the future of thousands of people in Madhya Pradesh has been destroyed by his chief minister. He completely ignores the fact that there is a business relationship between a criminal and his chief minister of Rajasthan," Rahul said as the logjam in Parliament continued over protests by Congress.
At a rally in Gaya yesterday, Modi had said Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan have come out of BIMARU category under BJP chief ministers and were moving fast on the path of development. Targeting External Affairs Minister Swaraj, Rahul said it "was nice to hear her speech in Parliament about how one should be very kind to Lalit Modi and should be charitable to him". "You want to be kind, you want to be charitable, why do it in secret. Why hide, why not tell your whole Ministry, why not tell the whole country you are doing it," he said.
The Congress vice president said he has asked a specific question to Swaraj that there are financial transfers that have taken place between Lalit Modi, who is a criminal wanted by different agencies, and her family. "Please explain to the country and the people of India, how much money of Lalit Modi has come into your bank account and that of your family. Please simply disclose this and the House will function," he said.
Asked if Congress was isolated in Parliament due to its protests, he said, "We are not isolated". Rahul also raised the issue of grant of special status to Andhra Pradesh, saying it is the right of the people of the state and the Centre must act fast on it soon. He also raised the issue of self-immolation by a Congress workers yesterday on this demand. "The Congress party is fighting for special status of Andhra Pradesh and it is very sad that the Government of India is ignoring what is the right of the people of Andhra Pradesh.
"This is not a favour that is being done to the people of Andhra Pradesh. This was promised to them and it is about time Government of India takes action and delivers the special status to Andhra Pradesh," he said. Congress MPs have raised the issue in Parliament by displaying placards while raising their demand in the din.