This Article is From Jul 22, 2015

Sushma Swaraj Tweets About Big Reveal in Parliament on Congress Leader

Sushma Swaraj Tweets About Big Reveal in Parliament on Congress Leader

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj outside Parliament (Press Trust of India photo)

New Delhi: Facing unrelenting opposition attacks, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted this morning that she would reveal in Parliament the name of a senior Congress leader who lobbied her for a diplomatic passport for a coal scam accused leader.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi said: "No comment," while her party called the tweet a "desperate diversionary tactic."

Santosh Bagrodia, who was minister of state for coal under then prime minister Manmohan Singh in 2008-2009, has been named as an accused in a case linked to the illegal allocation of a coal block in Maharashtra to a private company. He was summoned by a special CBI court on Tuesday.

Sources close to Mr Bagrodia say he did apply for a diplomatic passport but there was "nothing wrong" in it. "Anyone who has been an MP and whose passport is 10 years old can legally apply for it. What can a diplomatic passport do anyway - just help skip the queue?" the source said.

Sushma Swaraj has said she will respond in Parliament to the Congress and other opposition parties who have accused her of helping disgraced cricket tycoon Lalit Modi travel abroad last year at a time his passport had been cancelled by the Indian government.

The Congress made it clear as the monsoon session began yesterday that there would be more disruptions than work unless the government removed Sushma Swaraj and Chief Ministers Vasundhara Raje and Shivraj Chouhan for alleged misdemeanors.

Both houses were adjourned today over opposition protests.

Besides Ms Swaraj, Vasundhara Raje has also been accused of helping Lalit Modi, who lives in London. The Congress' demand for a discussion has been accepted.

Reacting to Ms Swaraj's tweets, Congress parliamentarian Anand Sharma said: "It is laughable. There is a world of difference between making a request for an Indian's passport and helping with a fugitive's passport. This just exposes her desperation."