'What have I done?' Sushma asks Sonia

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Deepak Mandal, Star Live 24
Thursday, August 6, 2015
Published On: 13:57:39 PM

New Delhi:External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said that she wrote to UK authorities about former IPL chief Lalit Modi's travel papers on humanitarian grounds, asking Congress leader Sonia Gandhi to explain what would we have she done.

Making a statement in the Lok Sabha in the absence of opposition Congress MPs, Swaraj said Modi's wife Minal was suffering from life threatening cancer and that she wanted her husband to be near her at an hospital in Portugal.

"If it was Sonia ji in my place what would she have done? Left her to die?," Swaraj asked.

The union minister also read from doctors' testimonies to show that Modi's wife was going through a particularly critical phase of her treatment.

"If I am guilty of helping a woman in need, I am ready to accept it," she said.

Swaraj pointed out that she never requested nor recommended to the UK authorities for giving travel papers to Lalit Modi.

"I left it to the decision of the UK authorities. I only said it will not affect bilateral ties between India and UK if he is granted travel papers."

She also appealed to the opposition to end their protests as the Lalit Modi papers has "become a non-issue now."

"What wrong have I done? Have I made any financial gain? Have I helped him escape the law? Did I request British government to issue travel documents to him?" she said.

The minister said she waited for the monsoon session of parliament to clear the air on the controversy about her alleged help to Modi, but she was not allowed to speak. Swaraj said she was at pain to note that even her friends in the opposition were asking for her resignation for no fault of her.

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