Lalit Modi case: BJP rallies around Vasundhara Raje

New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) Amid mounting pressure for resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over her help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, the BJP leadership has decided to back her for now – till the documents, purportedly signed by her, are verified.

“Vasundhara-ji is not going to be asked to resign under any kind of pressure. Be it from Congress or from Media,” a senior Bharatiya Janata Party functionary told IANS on the condition of anonymity.

Stepping up pressure for Raje’s resignation, the Congress on Wednesday showed the documents said to have been signed by her, and stressed she had testified for a “fugitive”.

The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh has, meanwhile, cautioned the BJP leadership against falling into any “media trial trap”, sources told IANS.

According to them, the RSS is of the view that if Raje is asked to resign, the pressure will mount on the BJP to take a call over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj as well. She too is being accused of helping Lalit Modi in getting British travel documents for going to Portugal in 2014 after his Indian passport was revoked.

An RSS functionary told IANS that “if you remember, union minister Nitin Gadkari was denied a second term as BJP president only becasue of a media trial” after revelations of the alleged murky financial dealings of Purti Power and Sugar Ltd., the company promoted by him.

“Ultimately what happened? No charges against him were proved. He is now a union minister and doing well,” the RSS functionary added.

Raje is accused of having testified in favour of Lalit Modi’s British immigration application in 2011. Ater this revelation, Raje clarified her position to BJP president Amit Shah over phone, saying she was not aware of the documents released. However, she had accepted her family relations with Modi.

Raje’s clarification had apparently satisfied the BJP leadership.

Union minister Nitin Gadkari met Raje on Monday (June 22) in Jaipur and assured her of full support from the party as well from the government.

On Wednesday, the BJP’s Rajasthan unit president Ashok Parnami too defended Raje and accused the Congress of trying to defame her.

Parnami said the party would only be able to comment on the issue after seeing the documents.

“She did not go personally to depose before the British authorities. We will only be able to comment after seeing the documents, the contents and the context,” he said.

Countering the BJP, the Congress on Wednesday released documents purportedly signed by Raje.


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