'False propaganda being carried out against Narendra Modi'
New Delhi: Amid the ongoing controversy over 65 Members of Parliament writing to US President Barack Obama urging him not to rescind a ban on a visa for Narendra Modi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirti Azad on Thursday said that it was a false propaganda being carried out against the Gujarat Chief Minister, and demanded Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar to take this matter very seriously and get a detailed inquiry done.
Azad said the people are laughing not only in India, but even abroad that signatures are being forged by Members of Parliament that too of Members of Parliament.
"I think there should be a strict inquiry into it. Secondly, the matters which are internal in nature as far as India is concerned; I fail to understand if we want to carry on with this false propaganda against Narendra Modi, keep on doing it in India but why do you wash your dirty linen abroad," Azad told a news agency here.
"So, I would request the honourable Speaker to take this matter very seriously, investigate it and see to it (that) all those who have committed this crime of forgery for 468 B of forgery of documents should be taken to task," he added.
In a new twist in the controversy over Modi's US visa, several lawmakers, including senior CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury, have denied signing any such letter seeking denial of US visa for the Gujarat Chief Minister.
Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament (MP) from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammad Adeeb, yesterday insisted that the letter is authentic, and said that he was ready for any inquiry to take place on the concerned subject.
"Sitaram Yechuryji has signed on the paper where the whole substance is closed and now is name is there. So, I welcome any inquiry. This is the letter addressed to President. The subject is also mentioned on top of it. Can you expect from any Member of Parliament that he will write his name and signature without reading it, without understanding it?" asked Adeeb.
"If a Member of Parliament says that no I don't know the subject, I am ashamed I feel sorry for the Member of Parliament. The fact of the matter is each and everyone has gone through the letter, agreed and then signed it," he added.
Yechury has denied having signed any letter seeking denial of US visa for Modi, saying it suggested a 'cut and paste' job.
"I deny having signed any such letter. It is neither in my character nor in the principles of my party - the CPI (M) - to petition any sovereign country on matters that fall strictly within the sovereign domain of that country," he said in a statement here.
"It is this very principle that leads us to strongly oppose and denounce any external interference into India's internal affairs undermining its sovereignty," he added.
DMK MP KP Ramalingam has also denied signing any letter to the US President against granting a visa to Modi.
The letter is reportedly aimed at stultifying the effort of BJP president Rajnath Singh, who is in the US, to persuade Washington to lift the ban on Modi's travel.
The US administration had imposed the visa ban on Modi, who was recently made the campaign-in-charge for the BJP, after the 2002 post-Godhra riots.