Sinking BJP clings to a straw
LAMO Tweet: He ran into Priyanka
By Faraz Ahmad
After taking a thorough beating for nearly a week, the BJP decided to retaliate over its Lalitgate scam, duly aided by former IPL Commissioner, the absconding Lalit Modi, hiding away in London, securing British travel papers, evading 15 notices of the Enforcement Directorate over his dubious financial dealings in the IPL between 2008 and 2010.
It was pathetic to watch the sinking BJP cling on to the straw of LAMO’s tweet that he ran in to Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra at a restaurant in London, thus providing the BJP the much needed opportunity to accuse the Congress also of dealings with Lalit Modi, implying “What if we had relations with Lalit Modi, so did you. If Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje rushed to secure travel documents for LAMO, if Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria and former Police Commissioner R D Tyagi met LAMO in England to bail him out of his trouble created by the Indian investigative agencies, your leader Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka too met him. She too must be striking some deal with LAMO.”
It is another thing that Modi the smart trickster subtly mentioned that he merely ran into Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra dining at a restaurant. The other day I went to a wedding reception at the Ashoka where I ran into L K Advani and Rajat Sharma. Neither of them acknowledged my presence. Can I claim a social contact with either of the two? But such is the desperation of the sinking BJP that it is clinging even to this little straw to save its image and bombastic claims of being corruption free and cleansing the country of the alleged corruption seeped into the body politic by the previous UPA regime.
LAMO made millions or billions through glamorous betting business in the IPL and sure enough earned the jealousy of many of his fellow comrades in the Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI). It is also apparent that there was a lobby within the BCCI led by the disgraced N Srnivisan, former Union Minister Rajiv Shukla and current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley who put all the blame of making millions and billions through questionable means on LAMO and ousted him from BCCI. But then he had the opportunity to face the investigators and name the other partners, if there were any, but not to run away and hide in England.
First LAMO said he fled India because the previous UPA regime led by former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was out to fix him. That Chidambaram even influenced the UK government against him by warning of souring of diplomatic relations between the two countries if the English were seen bailing out LAMO. Modi junior’s confidant and business partner Vasundhara Raje too supported this contention in writing under her signatures. The two also claimed that LAMO was victimized by the UPA for political reasons. It was apparent to Vasu that she was committing an offence by coming to the aid of an absconder and so she made a precondition in writing that her support would not be disclosed to the Indian authorities. Sushma though did not say this in so many words by her action she too implied that LAMO was a victim of UPA’s unfair accusations and therefore deserved to be treated in a more “humanitarian” manner. All the players who rose to LAMO’s aid have some overt or covert connection with the BJP and yet the BJP spokespersons had the gumption to insinuate that Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra too were game to bailing out LAMO. Strange, overnight the tyrant becomes the rescuer!
But that was so ridiculous that the BJP strategy planners dropped this line even before they started it. So next came from the media’s well-known BJP trumpeteers BJP namely Surjit Bhalla and R Jagannathan who have come up with the latest one that actually LAMO isn’t an absconder at all. Their knowledge of Indian criminal law is so poor and cursory as not to know that the first stage of declaring anyone an absconder takes place in the Thana or other probing agency and not by the courts. Of course such is the reach of our great IPL hero that even in England he puts his arms around and snuggles close to the INTERPOL chief with a misleading name Noble. What do you expect from such investigators, be it Maria, Tyagi or the ignoble Noble? There is a Government sympathetic to LAMO. The ED and others will look the other side. LAMO being an unbridled mare is too dangerous for any formal transparent probe. So he will stay back in England and keep tweeting. He is having a ball and the BJP is looking for some excuse to throw the ball back in the Congress court. But who will it wash with?