NEW DELHI -- It was no holds barred in Lok Sabha today after the Congress Party agreed to debate the Lalit Modi scandal - just one day before the Monsoon Session concludes on Thursday.
On Wednesday evening, Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi hit back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who delivered a scathing attack on his family while mounting her defence over helping Lalit Modi procure travel documents.
While Swaraj reiterated that she helped the former IPL commissioner on "humanitarian" grounds so that he could visit his wife, who was undergoing cancer treatment in Portugal, Gandhi asked why Swaraj felt the need to carry out her "humanitarian" work in secrecy.
"Sushma ji is the first humanitarian who does her work in secret," he said.
The Congress Party has demanded that Swaraj should resign for helping Lalit Modi, a fugitive from Indian law, when he was being investigated for financial irregularities and money laundering. Last week, the Mumbai High Court issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for him.
Describing Lalit Modi as the symbol of "black money," Gandhi asked the prime minister why was he protecting the cricket magnate, and the "black money network."
"Prime Minister Modi ji does not have the guts to sit in the house and face our questions," he said. "Gandhi ji used to have three monkeys: don't see bad, don't hear bad, and don't say bad. Modi ji has three new monkeys: don't see the truth, don't hear the truth, and don't speak the truth."
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said, "The difficulty with Mr. Rahul Gandhi is that he's an expert without any knowledge."
Over the past three weeks, the Congress Party has caused a pandemonium in parliament over the resignations of Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over the Lalit Modi scandal, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for the Vyapam scam.
While the Congress Party has attacked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not addressing these scandals, the BJP has censured its political rival for harming the country by holding up discussion on critical bills, especially the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Bill, which will bring about the biggest indirect tax reform since 1947.
Earlier in the debate, Swaraj targeted Gandhi, who has called her a "criminal" for helping Lalit Modi.
"I want to say to Rahul Gandhi, who likes taking holidays, that when you are on your next break, sit in peace and read your family history," she said. "And then come home and ask mamma, how much did we take from Quattrochi, and why did we let Anderson escape," the foreign minister said.
"This is called quid pro quo," she said, spelling out the Latin phrase which means "something for something."
The Lok Sabha rejected an adjournment motion against Swaraj by voice vote after which the Congress Party walked out.