‘Raje should quit, Modi should speak up’

Our Bureau |Agencies | | Updated on: Dec 06, 2021


BJP goes on defensive even as Opposition steps up attack

As an affidavit allegedly signed by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia supporting former IPL chief Lalit Modi’s immigration plea in the UK became public, opposition parties on Thursday stepped up their attack on the BJP government.

Questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s silence on the issue, the Congress, AAP and Left parties said Raje should step down immediately.

Raje had reportedly said in the leaked affidavit that the matter should be kept away from Indian authorities.

However, the BJP today fought back against the growing chorus, claiming the details of the issue are not clear yet, and the authenticity of the documents carrying her purported signature are not verified.

In an indication that the party may back the beleaguered leader, its spokespersons went on an offensive, questioning the authenticity of the documents and Raje too broke her silence with her office terming media reports as “untrue” which were aimed at “harming her politically”. Meanwhile, under pressure to resign, Raje today met BJP legislators to gauge her support in the party. She met at least 20 BJP leaders including Cabinet colleagues, legislators and BJP functionaries at her official residence since the morning, BJP sources said.

Pressure tactic

“It seems the meeting is a pressure tactic. She wants to tell the BJP leaders that she enjoys the support of the BJP State unit,” said a party leader on the condition of anonymity

Meanwhile, the Congress’s Rajasthan chief Sachin Pilot said Raje had the backing of the BJP leadership for filing such an affidavit. “Why is the Prime Minister shying away from making any comment on it? Why the BJP is refraining from taking any action? Why is the Prime Minister hesitating in taking any action?” he asked while addressing media persons at the AICC headquarters here on Thursday.

Modi’s silence and inaction, even as damning evidence emerges against Raje on an almost daily basis, is understandable, said Pilot. “It now seems clear that his colleagues in the BJP who are now Ministers and Chief Minister, were working in tandem to help Lalit Modi and were in cahoots with this fugitive friend of the BJP,” he said.

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) demanded the immediate resignation of Raje and said the links she and her family members have with Lalit Modi should be investigated thoroughly.

The latest revelation of Raje’s affidavit in support of Lalit Modi speaks volumes of BJP’s connections with corrupt and criminal personalities, it added.

CPI general secretary S Sudhakar Reddy said it was Sushma Swaraj earlier and now it is Raje. “If the BJP believes in ethics in politics, then they should ask Vasundhara Raje to resign immediately and announce an SIT probe. The PM is sitting like a mauna muni on the BJP’s naked corruption exposures. Time demands PM should break his silence and speak,” he added.

The AAP also slammed Modi for keeping silent over the latest controversies and threatened to launch a nationwide agitation if the tainted ministers and leaders are not sacked. It wants the Centre to sack Swaraj and Raje over the ‘Lalitgate’ row, Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani in the fake degree row and Pankaja Munde over the ‘chikki’ scandal.

“The Prime Minister keeps tweeting. But why is he silent over these issues?” said AAP leader Ashutosh.

“The way Sonia Gandhi remote-controlled Manmohan Singh, Jhandewalan (RSS office in Delhi) and Nagpur (RSS headquarters) remote-control Prime Minister Modi,” he added.

ACB seeks explanation

In Mumbai, the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) today sought an explanation from the Women and Child Development Department about the alleged awarding of contracts without inviting tenders, a day after claims in this regard emerged against its Minister Pankaja Munde, daughter of late BJP leader Gopinath Munde.

Published on June 25, 2015
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