Sushma Swaraj Offered To Resign A Week Before Controversy Broke Out

16/06/2015 11:09 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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SAJJAD HUSSAIN via Getty Images
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses a press conference in New Delhi on May 31, 2015. Swaraj held the press conference to mark the first anniversary of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government. AFP PHOTO / SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI -- External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj offered to resign almost a week before the controversy broke out over her help to former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi in getting travel documents on "humanitarian ground", but her offer was rejected on the intervention of the RSS, informed sources said.

On Sunday, Times Now news channel read out e-mails of a British MP concerning travel documents for Modi. They also said they had sent an e-mail to Sushma Swaraj almost a week before, seeking her response on the issue.

Soon after that she met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and informed him of the matter in detail, a highly placed source told IANS.

Sources said a meeting of senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh functionaries was convened a day later by Modi to discuss the matter and to chalk out the future strategy.

They said at the meeting Sushma Swaraj clarified her stand on the issue and said she was ready to resign as she did not want the government to face any embarrassment. But RSS functionaries stopped her, saying she has done nothing wrong, the sources added.

The RSS functionaries also said that Sushma Swaraj had made it clear in her communication that any help rendered by the British authorities to Lalit Modi should be subject to their rules.

According to sources, the meeting chalked out strategy to defend Sushma Swaraj.

As part of the strategy, Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and RSS leader Indresh Kumar came out in support of Sushma Swaraj on Sunday.

The controversy, which first appeared in a British newspaper, went on to dominate Indian news channels from Sunday.

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