BJP, government stand strongly behind Raje: Gadkari

Jaipur, June 22 (IANS) Union minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday asserted that the BJP and the central government stood firmly behind Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and dismissed as “baseless” the charge against her of having helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi.

“All allegations against Raje are baseless. These accusations have no substance,” Gadkari told reporters after meeting Raje at her official residence here.

“I assured her (Raje) that the central government and the BJP stand strongly with her,” Gadkari said.

“Hum kal bhi unke sath the aur aaj bhi unke sath hain (we were supportive of her in the past and we still are),” he remarked.

Raje is accused of testifying in favour of Lalit Modi’s British immigration application in 2011.

“Vasundhara-ji is completely right legally, logically and ethically. There is no fault of hers anywhere. Doing this kind of politics is not right,” the union road, transport and highways minister added.

Gadkari also defended Dushyant Singh, Raje’s son and BJP MP from Jhalawar-Baran constituency in Rajasthan, for his financial dealings with Lalit Modi.

He said that as far as Dushyant was concerned, all transactions were on record in income tax returns.

“Borrowing money from someone is no crime,” Gadkari said.

This is the first time that a union minister has defended both Raje and Dushyant.

Earlier, Raje was told by the central leadership to defend herself as it was already facing embarrassment over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj who allegedly helped Lalit Modi procure documents to travel to Portugal last year for his cancer-stricken wife’s treatment.

The BJP and several central ministers have defended Sushma Swaraj strongly.

After a meeting between Narendra Modi and party president Amit Shah last Thursday, it was decided to staunchly support Vasundhara Raje too and reject demands for her resignation.

The BJP has now defended Raje through press conferences in New Delhi and Jaipur on Friday.


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