'Lalitgate' to become Cong'smain weapon in Bihar polls

'Lalitgate' to become Cong'smain weapon in Bihar polls

The opposition Congress on Thursday trained its guns on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and charged her with “round-tripping ill-gotten money” with the help of former IPL chairman Lalit Modi.

Senior leader Ghulam Nabi Azad wondered why Prime Minister Narendra Modi had maintained a “sheepish silence” on the issue which stood in sharp contrast with his “roar” against corruption. “Round tripping” involves getting the money out of one country, to tax havens, and bringing it back in the form of foreign capital with tax benefits.

Senior leaders said the “Lalitgate” scandal had given them enough ammunition to keep up the attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had only last month claimed of leading a “corruption-free” government. The Congress now plans to utilise the “gross impropriety” committed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Raje in the upcoming elections to the crucial state of Bihar scheduled later this year.
“The BJP maligned us using the 2G spectrum allegations, now it is our chance to show them the mirror,” a senior leader said.

Asked whether the Congress would approach courts to seek a probe into the allegations, the leader said, “Why get the courts involved? We are taking up the issue politically.”

However, Congress leaders do not expect the prime minister to take any action against Swaraj and Raje. They said the BJP leadership had not taken any action against Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the Vyapam scam. A state minister and several top officials have been arrested in connection with the irregularities in the recruitment process for professional posts in the state government.

Meanwhile, Rajasthan Congress leaders hit the streets in the state and burned effigies of Raje for her “criminally symbiotic” relations with Lalit Modi. “Facts now clearly establish the murky dealings, round tripping of ill-gotten money and exchange of mutual benefits between Lalit and Vasundhara Raje,” AICC General Secretary C P Joshi told reporters.

AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh took a jibe at Modi wondering whether the RSS was his next target after having “taken care” of Swaraj and Raje, the PM’s detractors in the BJP.

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