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Raje leaves Delhi without meeting BJP top brass

On Friday night, party sources indicated that the top leadership of the party had accepted Ms. Raje’s defence in the controversy.

Embattled Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Saturday attended a NITI Aayog deliberation in New Delhi but left without meeting either Prime Minister Narendra Modi or BJP chief Amit Shah.

Ms. Raje, who has been facing mounting opposition pressure to quit in connection with the ‘Lalitgate’, arrived at around 9:30 a.m. and left the city after spending close to four hours.

Party sources were tight-lipped on whether the Rajasthan Chief Minister had sought any appointment to meet either the Prime Minister or the party president.

On Friday night, after a meeting between Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah, party sources indicated that the top leadership of the party had accepted Ms. Raje’s defence in the controversy.

On Friday, Rajasthan BJP refuted all the allegations being levelled at her, saying 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.

Congress has been piling up pressure on BJP to sack Ms. Raje, accusing her of quid pro quo in helping the former IPL boss.

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.

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

Raje gives media the slip

Ms.Raje, who has been embroiled in the Lalit Modi controversy, gave media the slip after the NITI Aayog meeting.

Ms. Raje had earlier arrived at the NITI Aayog for meeting of sub-group of Chief Ministers on rationalisation of centrally-sponsored schemes.

Even as the entire media was waiting at the gate from which she had had entered, Ms. Raje’s cavalcade left from the rear gate.

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

Even as opposition gunned for her resignation over the controversy, the Rajasthan BJP unit had rejected all the allegations against her on Friday saying that the document 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 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 Lalit 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”, while BJP has said it “fully supports” her.

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Printable version | Jul 15, 2020 2:32:32 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/rajasthan-chief-minsiter-vasundhara-raje-attends-niti-aayog-meeting-leaves-delhi-without-meeting-bjp-top-brass/article7361103.ece

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