NEW DELHI: Callously sending the entire political class of New Delhi, the Union Government and the investigative agencies on a tailspin, controversial former IPL boss Lalit Modi seemed to be living it up, quite unperturbed, at exotic holiday resorts with global celebrities Naomi Campbell, Paris Hilton, Kevin Spacey and, to top it all, “friend Raul Castro”.
While the career of two prominent women politicians of the BJP -- Sushma Swaraj and Vasushara Raje -- remained at stake, the Opposition baying for their double resignation, Lalit Modi, by his own strange admissions, “has been trying to solve the political problems of Philippines and Cuba”. This is the “humanitarian” work Lalit Modi requires to do apart being at high profile weddings in Venice or vacationing, the angry opposition from Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad to CPI MP D Raja and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar screamed in reaction.
As Instagram feeds of Lalit Modi and his wife Manila’s fun frolic around tony locations in Havana, Dubai, Montenegro, Phuket and elsewhere tumble out in the Indian public domain, the “no-nonsense image” of the Modi Government took a hit as never before.
What the united opposition’s walk to the Rashtrapati Bhavan over the Land Acquisition Bill or the innumerable press conferences critical of the NDA rule could not do, the Lalit Modi scandal seems to have done. The general consensus and whispers in the BJP was that the damaged it is not just a damage to the government but the polity in general. Here was a “fugitive from the ED and the taxmen” of the land with no worry or care in life, the images suggested. Little wonder that PM Narendra Modi had a meeting with Home Minister Rajnath Singh ostensibly to find out the progress in the Enforcement Directorate case against Lalit. The Congress, and the opposition, meanwhile targeted the PM for not breaking his silence on the issue.
While C P Joshi went soft against Sushma, he attacked Rajasthan Chief Minister ’s son Dhusyant for his business dealing with Lalit Modi.
‘PM’s Silence has IPL Connetions’
A senior Congress leader claimed that when Lalit Modi lost the Rajasthan Cricket Association chief’s election to Sanjay Dixit, he had shifted IPL matches and cricket investment to Gujarat, refurbishing the state’s cricket stadia to world-class level, hinting that was a reason for the PM’s silence.