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Vasundhara Raje cancels Punjab visit

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Amid raging Lalitgate row, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday cancelled her visit to Punjab where she would have come face-to-face with BJP president Amit Shah for the first time since the damaging revelations.

“Due to back pain, the Chief Minster’s doctor has advised her to take rest so she has cancelled her visit to Punjab today,” Ms. Raje’s press advisor said.

Ms. Raje, who is embroiled in a controversy over allegedly favouring tainted IPL Chief Lalit Modi’s immigration plea in London, was scheduled to share the dais with BJP Chief Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at the function in Anandpur Sahib celebrating 350 years of the key Sikh shrine.

Significance was being attached to the meeting as none of the BJP central leaders or the government have come to her defence since the issue came out in public.

Ms. Raje had spoken to Mr. Shah over phone on Wednesday to explain her position.

Congress has been demanding her immediate resignation along with that of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, saying they have no right to continue in office after helping the former IPC Chairman who is facing money laundering and other charges.

However, Rajathan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore rejected demands for Ms. Raje’s resignation, saying the entire national BJP and party MLAs were with her.

“The entire BJP be it at the Centre or the state are with her. She has been leading us and will continue to do so. The entire legislature party is standing strongly with her. Our leadership is standing by her. The question of her resignation does not arise,” he had said.

Sushma, Lalit and a growing cast in the visa row:



>Arun Jaitley
Union Finance Minister, BJP

"All allegations levelled are baseless."

>P. Chidambaram
Former Finance Minister, Congress

"Ensure Modi returns to India for ED probe."

>Sushma Swaraj
External Affairs Minister, BJP

Helped Lalit Modi after taking a humanitarian view.

>Sitaram Yechury
General Secretary,
CPI-M

Intervention of Sushma Swaraj is unacceptable

Sushma Swaraj and Keith Vaz are no longer the only ones in the line of fire:

  • » Documents supplied by Lalit Modi's lawyer on Monday revealed that >Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje had in August 2011 backed his immigration application on condition it would not be made known to Indian authorities.
  • » On Wednesday Sushma Swaraj was tweeting in response to allegation that her daughter >Bansuri Swaraj got admission to medical school the northeast quota.
  • » > Media baron Rupert Murdoch found his name figure in the controversy. In a TV interview, Mr. Modi said Mr. Murdoch was upset with him.

Hints at fissures in the BJP were made by party member Kirti Azad, who pointed to an in-house conspiracy targeting Sushma:

  • » In his tweets, >Mr. Azad referred to a party insider having a role to play in leaking information about the Minister's recommendation and her family's association with Mr. Modi. Mr. Azad claimed that it was a 'snake in the grass' and a media personality who conspired against Ms. Swaraj.

Armed now with enough ammunition, the opposition trained its guns on the Centre:

  • » Sushma should be sacked, said >Rahul Gandhi: "Lalit Modi is the symbol of black money stashed outside and Sushma Swaraj is protecting him"

Timeline

  • June 4 - First expose in the London-based Sunday Times on Lalit Modi controversy
    It alleged that senior Labour British parliamentarian of Indian origin Keith Vaz used his influential position as chair of the House of Commons home affairs select committee to help Mr. Modi get his papers to stay in the UK as a temporary resident, despite his position as a fugitive from the law in India.
  • June 7 Mr. Vaz, who did not make any public or media statement, in a post on his website said his email was hacked and confidential information accessed.
    In another post he claims that when he took over there was a passport crisis with 500,000 pending cases in the Home department, which he was able to bring down considerably in five years.
  • June 11 - In a follow up to the first story the next week the name of Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj comes in as yet another senior politician who is making a case for Lalit Modi.
    Leaked correspondence shows that Mr. Vaz invoked the names of both Ms. Swaraj and Sir James Bevan, British High Commissioner to India as Mr. Modi’s friends, in order to strengthen his case with the immigration authorities.
  • June 16 - In a TV interview Mr. Modi alleges that media baron Rupert Murdoch, who owns the Times and Sunday Times has masterminded the Sunday Times story.
    He claims that Mr. Murdoch was miffed over a “no exit” clause in the Champions League, and is therefore getting his back.



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Printable version | Oct 17, 2021 9:34:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/vasundhara-raje-cancels-punjab-visit/article7332788.ece

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