BJP not to drop Raje

Dushyant's dealings above board, says party

BJP not to drop Raje

The BJP on Friday decided to cast its lot with beleaguered Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, at least for the time being, as it did with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj a few days ago.

The party rejected demands for resignation of  Raje as well as that of Swaraj for their reported nexus with disgraced cricket administrator Lalit Modi.

Ending the silence on the fate of Raje, BJP spokesperson Sudanshu Trivedi said, “The validity of the documents produced against Raje in connection with Lalit Modi (to help him get UK travel papers) was not yet verified.”

Trivedi also defended Raje’s son Dushyant Singh, saying his company’s dealings with Modi’s firm were above the board. The Rajasthan BJP unit also put up a strong defence of Dushyant at a press conference in Jaipur. The state unit said that the transactions were in compliance with the Companies Act- 1956 and were between the two private companies.

Trivedi said it was not a new issue and facts have been mentioned in Dushyant’s Income Tax returns as well his affidavit before the Lok Sabha polls. The matter was also before the High Court after a petition was filed in this connection.

The charge was that between 2008 and 2009, Lalit Modi paid Rs 96,000 per share in a company owned by Dushyant. But in his income tax returns for 2013, Singh declared that his shares in the same firm were worth just Rs 10 each. The huge premium paid by Modi for those shares was in addition to an unsecured loan of nearly Rs 11 crore to Dushyant’s Niyant Heritage Hotels Private Limited.

“We have already made it clear that there is no corruption. There is no technical or legal definition of corruption or misappropriation is not evident. The opposition is using these issues to make a mountain out of a molehill for their own political gains on feeble grounds,” said the BJP spokesperson.

Asked why the party took so much time to come out in support of Raje, Trivedi said, the questions raised by the media were imaginary.
 “Before making any demand, it should be seen whether that demand is substantive. Whether any wrong doing or corruption has taken place. To make such a demand in the absence of substantive evidence is not right and baseless,” he said. He said Raje has clarified to the party top brass and the talks between the party and her are continuing.
The BJP’s defence came on a day Raje cancelled her visit to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab where she would have met party president Amit Shah and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. But the support for Raje did not come before a new strategy was finalised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah, which should also see the government’s push for action against Lalit Modi in the cases investigated by the Enforcement Directorate.
Lalit, who is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate in several cases including charges of money laundering, has been staying in London and has not come to India to face questions.

According to  BJP sources, the  government, which has put all investigations against  Lalit Modi on the fast track, may convert the blue corner notice to a red one so that the former IPL commissioner can be detained in any country and handed over to India.

Deccan Herald had reported on Thursday a crackdown was in the offing against Lalit Modi to show that Swaraj’s help for him to get UK travel papers on "humanitarian grounds" was an isolated effort and in no way showed that the government was out to help escape action on the cases against him.

The Congress on Friday seemed determined to pursue its plan of action against Raje as well as Sushma, charging that a nexus existed between Lalit Modi, the Prime Minister, BJP president, Sushma and Raje and said the only way for the government to save itself and the Parliament session was to make the two women resign from their positions. “We hope after Yoga Day and after 'Lalitasan', the Prime Minister will take some strong action,” party leader Jairam Ramesh told reporters, adding “there is no other way.”

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