BJP comes out in support; Raje denies signature campaign

Rajasthan BJP chief Ashok Parnami asserted that the party is fully with the Chief Minister who has been elected by the MLAs.

Updated - November 16, 2021 04:57 pm IST

Published - June 26, 2015 07:21 pm IST - Jaipur

With Vasundhara Raje in trouble over Lalit Modi controversy, Rajasthan unit of BJP on Friday came out in open support for the embattled Chief Minister who herself rubbished reports about a signature campaign by her to demonstrate backing of 120 MLAs.

While the central BJP continued to back her, state unit President Ashok Parnami held a press conference here, saying that all allegations against Ms. Raje were “baseless” and mounted by Congress to defame her.

“All allegations against Raje are baseless. By levelling such allegations, Congress is indulging political vendetta against her and targeting decades-old family relations between her and Lalit Modi,” Mr. Parnami said.

He asserted that the BJP is fully with the Chief Minister who has been elected by the MLAs.

Referring to the controversial ‘affidavit’ in support of Lalit Modi, he said the signature on it was that of Raje but it was only a “draft” which was never presented before any court or any other legal body in the UK.

“The Chief Minister has not appeared before any court or given any affidavit. The statement is not addressed to any court (in UK),” he insisted.

About the mention in that “draft” that the letter be kept confidential, Mr. Parnami said it was written deliberately “so that the ugly face of revenge by Congress against Ms. Raje did not come before the international media, which was a clear possibility in the surcharged political atmosphere at that time (in 2011).”

Meanwhile, facing intense opposition heat, Ms. Raje dismissed media reports about a signature campaign by 120 party MLAs in her support.

In a statement, a CMO spokesman said the Chief Minister holds “ jansunwai ” (public hearing) at her residence every Friday, and for this many MLAs come with the public of their constituency for putting forward their problems and demands.

“Similarly today, the CM is holding public hearing in which MLAs and party workers are meeting”, the spokesman said.

“The news of signature by 120 MLAs (in her support) is completely wrong. It is not fair to link public hearing with a different view”, he said.

The CMO said the Chief Minister never asked or made any call to MLAs to show their strength and support.

Cong alleges quid pro quo in MoU with Lalit Modi

Earlier, mounting pressure for resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, Congress alleged a “quid pro quo” in a MoU between her government and tainted former IPL boss Lalit Modi for setting up a cancer hospital in Jaipur.

Congress also rejected any “links” between Lalit Modi and the Gandhi family after BJP made the allegation seizing on a tweet by the former IPL Commissioner that he had “run into” Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra in a London restaurant. It termed ‘Lalitgate’ as an index of “Gujarat model” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,

Alleging that Lalit Modi was working at the behest of BJP to divert attention to “non-issues”, the party released a copy of a MoU between Rajasthan government and Lalit Modi in October regarding the cancer hospital, saying it’s a case of public money being “sloshed for crony gratification” in a ’quid pro quo’

Facing Opposition heat over help extended by Ms. Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to Lalit Modi regarding his travel documents in the U.K., the BJP latched on to his tweet and alleged links between him and the Gandhi family.

Rejecting the allegation, Congress chief spokesperson Randip Surjewala said, “Looking into each other is neither improper nor a crime by any strength of imagination. There was no social interaction of any nature between Lalit Modi and Robert Vadra or Priyanka Gandhi.”

He said that instead of “diverting attention”, let the government answer the “pointed questions on corruption and quid pro quo of the help” given by a Union Minister and a Chief Minister to a “fugitive” of Indian law, who is named in crimes committed under FEMA, IPC .

Senior leader and party spokesperson CP Joshi wondered what is there to clarify when Lalit Modi had himself said that he had run into Robert and Priyanka.

“This is not allegation. You are taking inference out it. What is to clarify when Lalit Modi has already clarified? It is a coincidence. What can anybody do if some one appears before some one in a restaurant?” Mr. Joshi said.

When pressed further, he said who is he to give a clean chit to anybody when the statement of Lalit is itself sufficient.

“Did Priyanka go to meet him? He had run into them,” Mr. Joshi said reiterating the demand for resignation of Ms. Swaraj and Ms. Raje over the Lalit Modi row.

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