Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not make any reference to the controversy about the links between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajash CM Vaundhara Raje with the former IPL boss Lalit Modi in his usual radio address to the nation (‘Mann ki Baat’) which invited strong criticism from Congress and other parties.
Addressing the nation through radio for the first time about the Lalit Modi row broke out, the Prime Minister spoke on a range of topics but was silent on the controversy involving the former IPL chief and the foreign minister.
This allegation of favouritism dominated the media headlines as it was seen as the first major case of irregularity in the one-year rule of BJP at the Centre.
While Modi faced criticism from opposition parties for omitting this hot issue, he seemed to offer a justification by stating that ‘Mann ki Baat’ is more about issues concerning things that were close to his heart and has nothing to do with the business of the government.
“Sometimes, some people feel that I should make big government announcements in Mann ki Baat programme. No. For that, I work day and night. With you, I do light-hearted talk and I get pleasure from that,” he explained.
However, the opposition questioned the PM’s silence over Lalit Modi row as the former never missed an opportunity to tweet messages on various issues and but is not reluctant to speak on an important subject that hogged the media headlines.
Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed disappointment over the PM’s “failure” to speak on Lalit Modi controversy, warning that failure to act against Swaraj and Raje would embarrass him no end.
Further, he pointed out that it would be in interest of the PM to take immediate action against those involved in corruption. “Otherwise, nationally and internationally, it is going to haunt him wherever he goes,” he said.