Vasundhara left to fend for herself

Cricket & politics: No Union minister supported Rajasthan CM

Vasundhara left to fend for herself

The Modi government and the BJP do not appear to be inclined to defend Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje unlike in the case of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, where the toss brass went all out to defend her.

Both are accused of helping out fugitive former IPL chairman Lalit Modi to procure travel documents.

Raje and Swaraj incidentally are long time friends of business-cum-cricket administrator Modi who has survived crackdown since 2010 due to his all-weather friends in different political parties and ruling elite. Raje is left to fend for herself after her name figured in the controversy.

State BJP leaders privately stated that none among the Modi government ministers and central party leaders came out to publicly support the beleaguered chief minister.

Eventually only state leaders and ministers had to guard her from charges that she gave a confidential testimony in support of Lalit Modi’s immigration application in the UK. Also, the Rajasthan government under her leadership was accused of tying up with the same Lisbon-based hospital two months after Lalit’s wife underwent operation in the same institute to set up a top class medical facility for cancer patients. Rajasthan Health Minister Rajender Rathore appeared before television on Wednesday and offered his head. “I accept responsibility if signing MoU for providing technical support as health minister was a crime,” Rathore stated.

On the contrary, hours after the controversy broke out on news television on Sunday, BJP president Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had rushed to defend Swaraj endorsing her version that she helped Lalit on “humanitarian ground”.  
When asked to comment on Raje’s case, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad told reporters that ”Sushma Swaraj’s case was of a compassionate intervention for humanitarian cause. In Rajasthan case, surely they will revert”. He also deflected the issue by saying that “we need to find out facts about the issue, new speculations everyday do not help”.

The party, however, has asked leaders asking them not to speak out of turn.
Raje, interestingly, had called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on June 8, a day after the British media broke the Modigate. She had another meeting with Swaraj later in the day. Though what transpired in both the meetings was not put out in public domain, the buzz in the party is that it might had to do with unravelling of messy details of her underhand support to Lalit Modi.

In the past too, Raje had to bear consequences due to her proximity to Lalit Modi. After becoming the chief minister again in 2013, Raje tried to reinstall Lalit Modi as Rajasthan Cricket Association president early last year but had to give up her plans what state BJP leaders said due to pressure from the BCCI and central top leadership. Instead Lalit’s former associate Amin Pathan was made the RCA chief. 

Party sources recalled one of the reasons was that Lalit during the last Rajasthan Assembly elections had accused two central leaders in his tweets of taking money in ticket distribution.

She had to bury her differences within the party by offloading Lalit and only then she was able to expand her cabinet, stated another BJP leader.

State leaders guess it was perhaps that incident which might have provoked Lalit Modi to do the unthinkable –  release innocuously documents through his PR team that has put his friend in a spot.


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