Sharpening its attack on BJP over the issue of help extended to former IPL boss Lalit Modi, Congress on Thursday said the party should ask Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to step down as it can no longer “continue to defend the indefensible”.
After the emergence of a document backing Lalit Modi’s immigration application in the U.K. which purportedly bears Ms. Raje’s signature, Congress has said that her continuance as Rajasthan Chief Minister has become untenable.
Dismissing as being “lame” BJP’s claim that the signatures in the said document are forged, Rajasthan Congress chief Sachin Pilot said, “I don’t think it is possible for anyone to put up that lame an argument... And, if she had to deny the signatures, she should have done it perhaps in the beginning.
“She knows that the signature is hers and she has never denied it. So, I don’t think at this late stage to come out and say that they are forged or falsified, that’s really something that nobody is going to buy. And I hope BJP will also not buy that argument.”
Mr. Pilot said that BJP is trying to “buy time” and not clearly defending the Rajasthan Chief Minister.
“Unfortunately for them (BJP), they have to realise the inescapable truth is that she has broken the law. She has transgressed Indian law knowingly and the flying statement which shows that she was trying to help Lalit Modi get travel documents is in violation of Indian law and by no account can the BJP continue to defend the indefensible,” he said.
Mr. Pilot made a strong pitch for her resignation, saying no amount of BJP support can help her now.
“I am of the opinion that after what has now been made public, there is absolutely no scope left, no face left for BJP to manoeuvre and defend its leadership,” he added.
“There cannot be two laws in this country. One for common citizens and one for high-ranking BJP officials. Therefore...I think it is in the best interest of the state and also of BJP to ask the chief minister to put in her papers as soon as possible,” he said.
|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.|