The lower house was adjourned on 12 August after treasury benches accepted the opposition’s demand to discuss an adjournment motion on foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s alleged role in the Lalit Modi row.
As Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge started to speak, Satish Kumar Goutam, BJP MP interrupted him. He alleged the IPL involved Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s family’s black money—a term given for untaxed money in foreign accounts.
An angry Sonia dashed to the well of the House and protested against Gautam. She was supported by Congress, TMC and Left MPs, including her son Rahul. In the face of a united opposition, the Speaker adjourned the House till afternoon.
Holding Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the government responsible for the disruptions, Kharge demanded the PM’s presence in the House. “The PM should be present here to listen to us. He only talks on radio and television. There is no point if he is not present,” added Kharge.
Kharge asked Swaraj why she did not file an appeal filed Lalit Modi, who has been issued a blue corner notice. “If you wanted to help him on humanitarian grounds, you should have done so keeping the law in mind. Nobody was informed that you helped him,” he said.
“In the guise of ‘humanitarian grounds’, you are supporting a tax evader. Lalit Modi went to Portugal for a wedding and not for his wife,” alleged Kharge and demanded Swaraj’s resignation on moral grounds.
He also attacked finance minister Arun Jaitley, saying he never initiated an inquiry despite knowing about Lalit Modi’s economic offence.
Earlier, Swaraj made a statement in Lok Sabha, saying she is ready for a discussion on the row that has stalled Parliament. She appealed to the Speaker to take up Kharge’s adjournment motion for discussion.