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Did not help Lalit Modi, says Sushma

Did not help Lalit Modi, says Sushma

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday told the Lok Sabha that she did not recommend to the British government to give travel documents to former IPL chief Lalit Modi.

The minister, however, verbally conveyed to the British government that if "it chooses to give travel documents to Lalit Modi it will not spoil bilateral relationships between the two countries".

Sushma Swaraj also said the allegations against her of recommending travel documents for Lalit Modi were "wrong and baseless".

"I never made a recommendation or request to the British government to give travel documents to him (Lalit Modi)," said Sushma Swaraj.

She has been facing vociferous demands from the Congress for her resignation over her alleged help to Modi who is facing Enforcement Directorate investigations.

She said her help was extended to Modi's wife who was battling cancer for 17 years and was undergoing treatment in Portugal.

The minister said the director of the institute where Modi's wife was undergoing treatment had written that the presence of her husband would be required to carry out an assessment of her medical procedure.

Sushma Swaraj said Modi's wife also wanted her husband to be present with her during the critical procedure.

"I have not helped Lalit Modi but his wife who is an Indian national, (who is) not involved in any crime. Is it a crime to help a woman like this," she said.

"If it had been (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi in my place, what she would have done," she asked.

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