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As Lalit Modi visa row rages, Raje reaches Delhi

Congress has accused Ms. Raje of quid pro quo in helping Modi and launched a relentless attack on her, demanding her resignation.

Embattled Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje arrived in New Delhi on Saturday to attend a NITI Aayog meeting and is also likely to meet the BJP top brass amidst mounting opposition pressure for her resignation in connection with the Lalit Modi controversy.

Ms. Raje has travelled to the national capital a day after Rajasthan BJP refuted all the allegations being levelled at her, saying on Friday that the document which she signed in support of Lalit Modi’s immigration application to the U.K. government was never produced in court as she had backed out of it later.

The state unit of the party also claimed that Lalit Modi’s investment in the chain of hotels owned by her son was legal and had been disclosed to authorities.

The top leadership of the party is learnt to have accepted Ms. Raje’s defence as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met BJP chief Amit Shah and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday over the issue.

Congress has accused Ms. Raje of quid pro quo in helping Modi and launched a relentless attack on her, demanding her resignation.

Ms. Raje has maintained silence over the raging row even though her office has termed the allegations “untrue”, claiming that they were aimed at harming her politically.

The BJP for its part has said it “fully supports” her. The party has called her its tallest and most popular leader in the state, where she has led the party to its biggest Assembly and Lok Sabha wins.

At a press conference in BJP office in Jaipur on Friday, Rajasthan Medical and Health Minister R.S. Rathore had said that Ms. Raje will also attend a NITI-Aayog sub-committee meeting on Saturday.

Ms. Raje was scheduled to visit London from June 27 to July 2 but cancelled her U.K. tour early this week in view of the NITI Aayog meet.

Ms. Raje will be attending a meeting of the Chief Ministers of 11 states on rationalisation of centrally-sponsored schemes at NITI Aayog in New Delhi.

Besides Ms. Raje, the meeting will be attended by the Chief Ministers of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Nagaland, among others.

Car in Raje’s convoy hit by TV channel vehicle

A vehicle in the convoy of Ms. Raje was said to have been hit by a TV channel’s car as she was headed to the airport in Jaipur on her way to New Delhi.

According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the car in Ms. Raje’s convoy “was hit by a vehicle of TV channel obstructing the way”. However, there was no mention of anybody being hurt in the incident.

In a statement, the CMO added, “At a few places, accidents were about to occur as Raje’s convoy was on way to airport and the electronic media followed her.”

There were jams caused at a couple of places due to the “uncontrolled” driving as some TV channel crews attempted to chase and encircle her car, it added.

The TV crews were “driving their vehicles rashly,” it was alleged.

“Mediapersons are requested to take care of their security and others’ too... We are worried for you... We do organise press conferences and issue press statements to reply to your questions... We will follow this in the future too,” it added.

“Is media’s role right? Media is said to be the fourth pillar of democracy,” the CMO further remarked.

When contacted, the Jaipur police commissioner declined to comment on the alleged accident and the traffic jam situation.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 3:48:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lalit-modi-visa-row-rages-vasundhara-raje-in-new-delhi-to-attend-niti-aayog-meeting/article7361053.ece

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