The campaign for the ouster of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was today met with a strong counter-offensive when she launched a no-holds-barred attack on Congress accusing it of having taken money to help Ottavio Quattrochchi and Warren Anderson flee India even as the government rejected the demand for her resignation.
Taking the floor after a number of searching questions were raised by Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge, Swaraj’s charges against late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his government and the attack on Rahul Gandhi escalated further tensions between the opposition and government as a washed-out session of Parliament comes to an end tomorrow.
On the penultimate day of the month-long session, which was paralysed over the Congress demand for Swaraj’s resignation, the two sides settled for a discussion on an adjournment motion that was often acrimonious.
At the end of the day, the adjournment motion was defeated by a voice after Congress walked out of the House and Finance Minister Arun Jatiley rejected the demand for her resignation saying all the allegations against “are baseless”.
Kharge, who moved an adjournment motion, raised a number of queries over Swaraj’s help to former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi, a “fugitive”, in getting travel document “in stealth” to go outside London when law enforcement agencies were looking for him here.
He accused her of involved in conflict of interest because her husband and daughter were lawyers for Modi, which she rejected saying the two did not appear in the case of Modi’s passport cancellation and did not take a single rupee as fees.
But things got personal when Swaraj began her reply and launched into a fusillade against Gandhi and the Congress governments in the past including the one headed by his late father Rajiv Gandhi.