Vasundhara not to share dais with Shah

Vasundhara not to share dais with Shah

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Friday cancelled her planned visit to Punjab “at the last minute” in an apparent attempt to avoid potential embarrassment that she could cause to the BJP by sharing the dais with party president Amit Shah in light of the Lalit Modi controversy.

Raje, Amit Shah, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and several other senior BJP leaders were scheduled to participate in the ongoing celebrations of the 350-years of Sri Anandpur Sahib, a revered Sikh shrine in Punjab. But the Rajasthan chief minister, instead, sent her cabinet colleague and irrigation minister of the state to attend the event.

For the record, Raje cited health reasons for cancelling the visit. Raje’s press advisor in a statement on Friday said, “Due to back pain, the chief minster’s doctor has advised her to take rest. So she has cancelled her visit to Punjab today.”

With the chief minister reportedly failing to get the desired support of her party leadership in the “Lalitgate” row, sharing the stage with Shah and others could have been counterproductive, both for the party and Raje, sources said.

Ever since the controversy broke, the BJP leadership hasn’t really come out in full support of the beleaguered chief minister. There were rumours on Thursday that Raje could meet Shah on the sidelines of the Punjab event and clarify her stand on the controversy. But given the nature of the event and the complexities of the controversies involving Raje, it was decided that she stays away from the function.

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