The Bharatiya Janata Party appeared cornered on Wednesday evening with the Congress releasing copies of a seven-page document signed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje supporting former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi’s immigration to the U.K. and pressure mounting on the party for her resignation.
The BJP had spoken in different voices earlier in the day with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying in the U.S. that the government would go by the rule book, but Home Minister Rajnath Singh brushed aside demands for resignations. “Our Ministers do not have to resign. This is not their [Congress] government. This is NDA government,” he told presspersons after a Union Cabinet meeting.
Ms. Raje had so far held that she did not remember signing any documents in Mr. Modi’s favour and those released by his lawyers last week bore no signatures.
“Vasundhara Raje had been lying again and again. The papers are here with Ms. Raje’s signatures,” Congress leader Jairam Ramesh declared showing copies of the statement.
The BJP reacted with caution, saying the authenticity of the papers was yet to be established.
Vasundhara’s act ‘anti-national’: Congress
The Congress’s attack on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Wednesday, showing documents “signed” by her endorsing former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi’s immigration to the U.K., came within hours of the party demanding the resignation of Union Human Resource Minister Smriti Irani after a local court took cognisance of a complaint against her for submitting contradicting details of her educational qualifications in her election affidavits.
“The Prime Minister and his party should ask for three resignations — those of the Rajasthan Chief Minister, the Union Human Resource Minister and the External Affairs Minister,” Mr. Ramesh said.
“Till now, the BJP had been saying Congress was making an allegation, now the Congress is putting the truth in front of the people,” he said. The BJP repeated Ms. Raje’s earlier defence. “Let the authenticity of the documents be proved. The government is doing its work on black money,” party secretary Shrikant Sharma said. “The Congress is acting in frustration because it lost the election due to widespread corruption. They are just trying to hit back.”
|1||The Congress released copies of a seven-page document signed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje supporting the former IPL commissioner's immigration to the U.K. >Read more|
|2||The Shiv Sena lambasted the BJP for not supporting Mumbai Police chief Rakesh Maria in the same way just as it lent support to top leaders Ms. Swaraj and Ms. Raje. >Read more|
|3||BJP MP R.K. Singh struck a discordant note over party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje extending help to the tainted former IPL Commissioner, saying it was “legally and morally wrong”. >Read more|
|4||Mr. Modi alleged that Mr. Jaitley had control over the BCCI for decades and had continued to stick by his “oldest friend” — former Board president N. Srinivasan — even after the media and the court found him guilty. >Read more|
|5||Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria admitted that he had met Mr. Modi in London last year, but clarified that he had asked him to return to Mumbai and lodge a case in connection with underworld threats to his life. >Read more|
|6||Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis asked Mr. Maria to “provide information officially to the government as to what he has said in the media”. >Read more|
|7||Mr. Modi had dismissed allegations levelled against him in the controversy, saying that he was being targeted as part of a political conspiracy aimed at destabilising the Narendra Modi government. >Read more|
|8||BJP MP Kirti Azad, hinting at a feud within the party on Twitter, referred to a party insider playing a role in leaking information about Ms. Swaraj’s recommendation and her family’s association with Mr. Modi. >Read more|
|9||The U.K. has said it will not probe into the allegations against Labour party MP Keith Vaz. The Commissioner for Standards examined a complaint of conflict-of-interest and dismissed it for lack of sufficient evidence. >Read more|
|10||Ms. Swaraj defended her decision to recommend travel documents for former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi, after taking a "humanitarian view" and asserted that she asked the British government to examine his request and follow the rules.|