Govt officials’ support for Sushma Swaraj

Govt officials’ support for Sushma Swaraj

Agency News

Amid immense controversy pertaining to the trolling against External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over the passport row, the officials in Delhi and in Uttar Pradesh insist that the foreign ministry had strictly adhered to the rule book and there was nothing erroneous about issuing the travel permit to Tanvi Seth.

"There was nothing erroneous......The Ministry and the official agencies have so far followed the rules," said an official on Wednesday.

There is "no anomaly", sources said, adding - "marriage certificate is not needed for passport application". "Thus the passport official Vikas Mishra had no business to ask the applicant to confirm or deny about marriage certificates or Nikah Nama".

Sources also said the passport official in question on the controversy Vikas Mishra was "wrong" to question the applicants about certain documents.

Sources maintained that the police verification is essentially on two counts - to prove that one is a citizen of India and that the person does not have any criminal background.

"The police verification has nothing to do with one's address or someone marital status or otherwise," the sources said.

The multiple sources confirming that there was "nothing wrong or procedural error" in issuing the passport shows that the Ministry of External Affairs cannot be faulted. "It is absolutely condemnable that such kind of trolling has happened around Sushma Swaraj's Twitter account," the source said.

Ms Swaraj has come under attack in the social network after the Ministry of External Affairs had transferred MEA official Vikas Mishra from Lucknow to Gorakhpur after the controversy over issuing passport to Tanvi Seth and her husband had surfaced.

"I was out of India from 17th to 23rd June 2018. I do not know what happened in my absence. However, I am honoured with some tweets. I am sharing them with you. So I have liked them," the External Affairs Minister wrote herself on June 24 at the end of her visit to Italy, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

Among some of the tweets those have been re-tweeted by Ms Swaraj last week included one that calls the government move to transfer the officer a "biased decision".

Media reports earlier claimed that Tanvi Seth and her husband Mohammad Anas Siddiqui, married for 11 years, had claimed that they were humiliated and abused by the passport officer Vikas Mishra.

As a gesture of protest, Ms Swaraj had liked posts of various net users who have been targeting her on the passport controversy. The political parties like Congress and AIMIM also had joined the issue and targeted the BJP.

However, opposition leaders like Mamata Banerjee of Trinamool Congress and Jyotiraditya Scindia of Congress have slammed those who are using abusive language against Ms Swaraj.

Lately of course, BJP leaders like Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari have come out in support of Ms Swaraj and said it was "very unfortunate" the way the Minister and a senior BJP leader was being trolled.

On Sunday Ms Swaraj had posted, "In a democracy, difference of opinion is but natural. Pls do criticise but not in foul language. Criticism in decent language is always more effective." On Tuesday, however, she angrily blocked a Twitter user who criticised her.

"Intezaar kyon ? Lijiye block kr diya (Why wait? Here we go, I have blocked you)," Ms Swaraj tweeted in response to a troll that has asked the External Affairs Minister to 'block her'. (UNI)