Rajnath Singh to hold press conference after lunch


Rajnath Singh will address the media today in the second half of the day, and is expected to clarify the government of India’s stand on the controversy surrounding external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj.

UPDATE: The two leaders defended Swaraj in the press conference. “What she did was bonafide,” said Arun Jaitley, who is also the finance minister.

Swaraj has been caught up in allegations that she misused her powers to recommend travel papers to Lalit Modi, who has been the subject of an investigation of money laundering in India and has kept himself outside the country.

Swaraj initially said that her actions were prompted by humanitarian considerations, but media and opposition parties have accused her of doling out personal favors and misusing her powers.

It is also likely that Arun Jaitley, a peer of Swaraj, will also address the press conference. It will be clear whether the BJP will continue to support Swaraj or adopt a nuanced position.

Meanwhile, Times Now, a TV channel, claimed that they had sought an explanation from Swaraj on the matter a week ago, after which Swaraj approached the Prime Minister and expressed her willingness to step down.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been running a government on the plank of honesty and uprightness, reportedly consulted with senior functionaries in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (National Volunteer Organization), an influential associate of the ruling party.

The RSS reportedly told the government to support Swaraj and opposed the idea of her stepping down.

The controversy has become more complicated than usual as some suspect that Swaraj is the victim of intra-party politics.
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