Sushma defends herself over recommending U.K. visa for Lalit Modi


New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday clarified that she had helped former IPL Chief Lalit Modi to procure British travel documents on ‘humanitarian grounds’ so that he could be with his wife who was scheduled to undergo operation at Portugal.

Recently, a British newspaper exposed that Keith Vaz, the well-known British MP of Indian origin, used the external affairs minister’s name to pressure Britain’s top immigration official to grant travel papers to Modi.

Swaraj tweeted, “Sometime in July 2014 Lalit Modi spoke to me that his wife was suffering from cancer and her surgery was fixed for 4th Aug in Portugal. He told me that he had to be present in the hospital to sign the consent papers.”

Modi’s travel plans ran into trouble after the British government said that according to a communication by the previous UPA government, granting travel documents to him would spoil ties between India and Britain.

Swaraj also tweeted, “He informed me that he had applied for travel documents in London and UK Government was prepared to give him the travel documents. However, they were restrained by a UPA Government communication that this will spoil Indo-UK relations”.

Swaraj said that she conveyed to the British High Commissioner hat British Government should examine the request of Lalit Modi as per British rules and regulations. If the British government chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi, it will not spoil the bilateral relations between the two countries. She also admitted that she had spoken to the British MP and British High Commissioner on the issue.