Voice of dissent in BJP over Lalitgate

Helping fugitive is wrong: MP R K Singh

Voice of dissent in BJP over Lalitgate

The voices of dissent seem to be growing louder inside the BJP with party MP and former home secretary R K Singh taking a stand contrary to the party’s opinion on the Lalit Modi controversy.

 

At a time when the BJP and the Centre are strongly defending External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, both accused of helping disgraced former IPL chief Lalit Modi, Singh said: “Helping a ‘bhagoda’ (fugitive) is wrong, no matter who helped him... He (Modi) should be brought back to face trial.”

The former home secretary also advocated filling an appeal to revoke Modi’s passport. The former IPL chief got his passport back last August through a Delhi High Court order after the UPA government had cancelled it in 2010.

Evading a direct reply to a query on whether Modi was being bailed out, the BJP MP from Arrah said that the departments should be doing their job. “I have given my view,” he said, hinting that he was aware that the statement was contrary to the party’s stand.  

Several BJP leaders avoided reacting to Singh’s statement. Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar refused to get drawn into the controversy as the BJP top brass has told its leaders not to speak out of turn.  

A senior BJP leader, however, sarcastically remarked that “police and Army officers have low political IQ,” hinting that Singh could have avoided making such statements.

Meanwhile, a day after Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari came out in support of Raje and her family, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Raje’s son and BJP MP Dushyant Singh is yet to get a clean chit.

Jaitley, who is on an official tour of the US, told reporters that authorities would continue the probe into the over Rs 11 crore transaction between Dushyant and Modi. 

Jaitley also said that his previous remarks on the issue was misinterpreted. Attributing to the finance minister, news reports had stated that Jaitley said the deals between Dushyant and Modi was a “commercial transaction”.

Amid all these developments, Modi continued to dig out old hidden details to take pot shots at Jaitley, Congress leader Rajeev Shukla and former BCCI chief N Srinivasan. 

Modi tweeted that even Jaitley met him at a London hotel when he was leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha. “Mr @arunjaitley whilst you were leader of the Opposition did u meet Mr Lalit Modi alone in #london for hours at the #stjamescourt taj hotel,” he tweeted.

He also said that Srinivasan met Jaitley three times after he became finance minister but accused the media for not highlighting the fact. In Maharashtra, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is under pressure to take a decision on Mumbai Police Commissioner Rakesh Maria. 

Additional Chief Secretary K P Bakshi has submitted a report to the chief minister, based on which the state government is expected to take a decision soon.

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