P KarunakaranHon. Speaker Madam, I thank you for taking the initiative for the discussion on adjournment motion. We, the Opposition parties, have been demanding for the adjournment motion from the initial stage itself in the beginning of the day. All the adjournment notices were disallowed by the Speaker or by the Government. Anyway, it is at the end of the Session that the Government has come forward for the discussion. I really appreciate the initiative of the Speaker and also the Government. I would like to make it clear that it is after a long struggle made by the Opposition parties in the House and it is also at the cost of the suspension of 25 Members for five days that this decision was taken. Why was the Government not ready to take this decision earlier? … (Interruptions) The Government was not ready and our adjournment notices were disallowed. … (Interruptions) We are not responsible because no adjournment notice was allowed by the Government or the Speaker. That is why it is delayed. So you cannot say that the Opposition parties were responsible. I would like to remind the Government that it was in 2010 that we stalled this House for one month under the leadership of Shrimati Sushma Swaraj. Our leader was Sushmaji and we, the Left parties, were together. At that time, we made it clear that the action has to be taken; it is only after the Government takes action that we can discuss the matter. The Prime Minister should come with a proposal of the action. Many Members from this House were with us. This was the situation that was prevalent in 2010. So, we the CPM, were here as the Opposition party. At that time, the UPA was in power. But now, the BJP is in the Government and Congress is in the Opposition. We are on the same side, the Opposition side. So, we have not made any change in our stand. The situation that was in 2010 is prevailing. So, the proposal has to be taken by the Prime Minister. As stated by Shri Kharge, the Prime Minister has not come here. In democracy, the Government is accountable to the Parliament and the Parliament is accountable to the people. Here the head of the Government is the Prime Minister. We can be proud of the fact that our Prime Minister has gone to 26 countries in the last few months. In 20 days, he has visited every country. Of course, we are proud of that. When his colleague Shrimati Sushma Swaraj is under severe criticism, the Prime Minister is silent. He has not made any statement outside; he has not made any statement in the House. … (Interruptions) I would like to point out that there is an Egyptian proverb, ‘Speech is silver and silence is golden’. The Prime Minister has accepted that Egyptian proverb. When the discussion is going on throughout the country, the Prime Minister is going on with his silence. This silence could be taken to mean anything: either he is supporting the Minister or he is opposing the Minister. What is his stand on this issue? It has to be made clear by the Prime Minister. Even at present, he is not here when such a serious discussion is going on. Why is the Prime Minister not here? The question now is not the allegation or criticism of a person. The Ministers are bound to abide by the Constitution. First I listened to the speech made by Shri Mallikarjun Kharge. He raised some seven or eight points. Shrimati Sushma Swaraj also gave a reply. … (Interruptions) She has given some replies, some information but at the same time she has been making counter-allegations. I would like to say that she was in the Opposition and we would ask why the Government could not take action. Even now, we are seeking to raise this issue. But when such an important issue is being discussed in this House the very responsible Minister of External Affairs is not giving any reply but at the same time making allegations. It is not wise. I did not expect this because I really respect Shrimati Sushma Swaraj. This is not the method to be adopted by the Government to reply to these questions. Anybody can make counter- allegations but that is not the way when a fruitful discussion is taking place. I would like to come to the main subject. I would like to place before the House a serious issue, that is, breaking the standard protocol of the Foreign Office to help Lalit Modi to obtain British travel papers by our hon. Minister of External Affairs Shrimati Sushma Swaraj. That is the main issue. It was in 2010; Lalit Modi who had fled India to London was using British travel documents. He was the IPL Chief and was involved in corruption charges. The Government of India in those days had also informed the British authorities that Lalit Modi was wanted in a case involving alleged violation of foreign exchange laws, his passport had been impounded, and any diplomatic help he received could adversely impact India’s relations with the UK. This was the message given by the earlier Government, whether it was the Home Ministry, Finance Ministry or the External Affairs Ministry. So, the case against him is pending. He is not only not ready to come to India but he has also violated many laws. Two days ago, we have seen that some more action has been initiated against him. The Minister of External Affairs had told the British High Commissioner in New Delhi that if the British Government chose to give travel documents to Lalit Modi, that would not spoil our bilateral relations. How can she say that? How can we compare the earlier decisions and this decision? Earlier it was said that the British Government should not give any support. Now, they say, if it chose to give travel documents to Lalit Modi that would not spoil our bilateral relations. It is against the rules and the spirit of the decision of the earlier Government. So, this is a violation that the Minister has made. I would like to know whether this decision was taken with the knowledge of the Prime Minister or whether it was discussed in the Cabinet. It is really violation of the protocol of the Foreign Office. It is said that the action was taken on the basis of the humanitarian aspect of the incident as Modi’s wife was ailing from cancer. Of course, we have to think on the humanitarian ground. If such an issue has come before Sushma ji, what should she do? As a Minister she should ask him to go to the Indian High Commission or to the British High Commission. Papers have to be processed from there and then it should come to the Ministry. From the Ministry it should go to the Cabinet and then a decision should be taken. I know on many other issues the Minister has taken good decisions, such as on the Yemen issue or such other issues but it is discussed in the Parliament. It is discussed in the Cabinet. But this has become a common, social issue. How has she forgotten to follow all this procedure in this case? It has become a major issue. It is not an issue of an individual. The Minister has to obey the rules, which is most important. Even if it has to be given a humanitarian consideration, the Government can assist but how can a Minister alone take this decision? This is the most important issue. The Minister has admitted that she had conveyed to the British Commissioner the change in India’s position. The Prime Minister has to make it clear as to whether there was any change in India’s position. Was the Minister authorised or was it decided by the Cabinet to make any change? All through this controversy the Prime Minister is silent. You have made a number of allegations saying that during the UPA regime, Shri Manmohan Singh remained silent. With regard to the present Prime Minister what should I say? I do not want to make any other allegation but at the same time I wonder whether he is sleeping or whether he is silent. Someone has said that he is a ‘Mauni Baba’. I do not want to say this. The External Affairs Minister justifies the action by saying that it was based on humanitarian consideration. Of course, we have to consider a case on humanitarian grounds. The wife of Lalit Modi is facing a critical stage of cancer in Portugal for the last many years. This is not a new development. But as per the Portugal hospital rule the operation cannot be undergone without his assistance. I would like to know after getting the permission where he has gone. How many days he has spent in his house with his wife? I think he has spent a few days with his wife and he was travelling to many other countries. Can we say it a humanitarian consideration? I know Lalit Modi is not an ordinary citizen. He has an extraordinary financial status. He has relations with the people having highest status. He was the former Chairman of the IPL but he is involved in very serious criminal financial misappropriation cases and violation of the enforcement law. There are about 16 cases against him. The Enforcement Directorate issued red corner notice against him. It is on the ground that the earlier Government had denied the passport to him. Why it has become an urgent matter? He says that he has very close relations with the External Affairs Ministry. I am not saying anything about the Chief Minister of Rajasthan but at the same time Lalit Modi says that he has 30 years of close relations with the CM of Rajasthan. It is not me who is saying this but he says it. Such is his relation with the high people. I am not contradicting any political leader or the Minister having relation with any businessman. That is natural but at the same time the main issue is whether such relation has influenced or whether such position has influenced to take undue partisan decisions to benefit the person. That is the major issue here. So, this is a very serious issue. My Party demand that there should be an investigation on this issue. It is related with the British Government and related with many other persons. So, there should be a high level investigation and till that date – as you have said Sushma ji – it is better for the Minister to keep away from the Ministry. With these words, I thank you. (ends)