A raging controversy linking top BJP leaders to former IPL boss Lalit Modi refused to die down after documents revealed on Wednesday the ex-cricket administrator offered foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s husband Swaraj Kaushal a position on the board of one of his companies.
An email accessed by television channel NDTV said Lalit Modi asked Kaushal, who has been his lawyer for years, to become an alternate director at Mumbai-based chemicals firm Indofil, triggering renewed Opposition demands for Swaraj’s resignation.
The foreign minister and her party colleague, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, are in the midst of a swirling row over their alleged help to Modi get UK travel documents when his passport was revoked over money laundering charges.
The BJP has stood by both leaders and rejected the Congress’ resignation demands but senior leaders are increasingly anxious that the shrill Opposition campaign is hurting the party’s image.
“Now it has come to light that Lalit Modi offered directorship to Swaraj Kaushal. He is the beneficiary of the legal fees from Modi. There should be an independent probe and the external affairs minister should be immediately sacked,” Aam Aadmi Party spokesperson Raghav Chadha said.
Within hours of the documents becoming public, both Kaushal and Indofil chairman KK Modi denied the allegations. KK Modi is Lalit Modi’s father.
“Lalit Modi proposed Swaraj Kaushal be given the post of an alternate director, a proposal he later withdrew. Thus the board of directors never considered his name. We have never had any discussions with Kaushal over the same,” KK Modi told ANI.
Kaushal also rejected the accusation, saying while he was offered a post on the board, he didn’t agree to take the job.
“I am a lawyer for Lalit Modi for over 20 years. I was offered to be alternate director on the Indofil Board. I did not give my consent. The request was withdrawn,” said Kaushal’s statement to ANI.