PM skips Lalit Modi row, invites oppn attack

RSTV Bureau

File Photo ( PTI )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke about a number of social issues in his monthly radio address  ‘Mann ki Baat’ but chose to avoid any reference to the political storm that has been generated by Lalit Modi issue for which Congress warned him that the issue will continue to “haunt” him.

CPI and AAP also attacked Modi for remaining silent on the controversy.

Speaking soon after the ‘Man ki Baat’ programme was aired, Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad expressed disappointment over the “failure” of the Prime Minister to speak on Lalit Modi controversy.

His other senior party colleagues P Chidambaram and Digvijay Singh, CPI’s D Raja and AAP leader Ashish Khetan also attacked PM Modi.

“All over India, no one is ready to listen to ‘Mann Ki Baat….Everyone wants to listen to voice of people in the programme,” said Azad, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha.

Taking a dig at Modi, Azad said he continued to be a “dream merchant” in the programme as he has been merely selling dreams in India and abroad.

“It is in the interest of the Prime Minister to take immediate action against those involved in corruption. Otherwise nationally and internationally, it is going to haunt him wherever he goes,” he told reporters.

Former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram also questioned Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence over recent controversies involving Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde and former IPL boss Lalit Modi.

“The Prime Minister, who criticised Manmohan Singh for being silent, is silent now…,” Chidambaram said at a meeting while referring to the allegations against Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, who is embroiled in the Lalit Modi controversy, and Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde.

Launching a scathing attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi for being silent on Lalit Modi row and other controversies, Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh alleged that he was helping the former IPL chief in ED cases against him.

“Every Sunday he (Narendra Modi) talks about ‘Mann ki Baat’, but doesn’t answer the basic questions which have emerged over the past fortnight ever since the Lalit Modi controversy came up. My charge is that Narendra Modi is helping Lalit Modi. My charge is that he has promised Lalit Modi that he will be bailed out of all the cases in which he is being investigated by Enforcement Directorate (ED),” Singh told reporters.

CPI leader D Raja also criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, he (Prime Minister) spoke on several other issues but he has not uttered a single word on the Latit Modi issue. He has not said anything on Raje. Why is he keeping silent? The situation is getting murkier…. Who is he protecting? Mr Modi is trying to shield certain things or protect some individuals? Why this silence? This is an issue.”

AAP leader Ashish Ketan said, “The whole country has only one ‘Mann Ki Baat’ which is what the Prime Minister’s takes on the issue of ‘Lalitgate’, Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhra Raje. And that Mann Ki Baat remained unaddressed.”