Congress raises pressure to get Vasundhra removed

RSTV Bureau

sachin-pilotCongress party launch an agitation demanding the resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje over the reports and allegations of her ties with controversial Lalit Modi. The party workers, though in thin numbers, protested in the state capital Jaipur demanding her resignation and probe over the alleged help provided by CM Raje to former IPL boss Lalit Modi in allegedly aiding his immigration application to UK on the terms of strict secrecy. Raje is also facing allegations of financial interest between Lalit Modi and the firm owned by Raje’s son Dushyant Singh.

“Congress party will start agitation in Rajasthan demanding resignation of Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje,” Rajasthan PCC leader Sachin Pilot had told the press on Wednesday.

Later in the day, Congress party’s senior leader and former Union minister CP Joshi launched another round of allegations, also taking on Prime Minister Modi over his silence on the issue.

“We want to know the transaction between Dushyant Singh and Lalit Modi is a Black Money transaction or not? We demand the resignation of Vasundhara Raje, requesting BJP President Amit Shah to sack her immediately,” he said in a presser at New Delhi.

The controversy deepened late on Tuesday evening after the PR agency representing the interests of Lalit Modi released documents citing Vasundhra Raje of purportedly assuring help to Lalit Modi for his immigration on the condition that her name shall never figure before the Indian authorities.

On her part, Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje reacted by denying any knowledge about the said documents, though she admitted of having known the Lalit Modi family for a long time.

“Of course I know the family. I have always known them…(But) I do not know what documents they are talking about,” she told a news agency in Jaipur.

On his part Lalit Modi in an interview to the private television channel Headlines Today too claimed of ties with Vasundhara Raje going back 30 years.

“She openly agreed to be (to be a witness), but unfortunately by the time the case went to trial, she was already chief Minister, so she did not come to become a witness. The statements she gave is all on records in the courts,” added Lalit Modi in his interview to Headlines Today.

The three page note released by the PR team of Lalit Modi contains the purported but an unsigned ‘Witness Statement’ of Raje, while she was the leader of Opposition in Rajasthan Legislative Assembly. According to the ‘Witness statement’, in the year 2011, Raje had supported the immigration application of Lalit Modi to United Kingdom (UK) on the terms of strict secrecy. By that time, Lalit Modi, was already facing the heat of multi-crore corruption allegations in the popular cricket tournament IPL.

Rajya Sabha TV’s online edition cannot independently verify the veracity/authenticity of the documents released by the PR or Legal team of Lalit Modi.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is already facing allegations of ‘controversially helping out’ Lalit Modi with his travel papers last year, at the time when his passport was under revocation by the Indian authorities. Swaraj is also facing the allegations of ‘conflict of interest’ and acting in a questionable manner to lend “humanitarian” help to Lalit Modi as her husband Mr. Swaraj Kaushal and daughter has been long-standing lawyers of Lalit Modi.

In his interview Lalit Modi also named former Union Agriculture minister and ex-Chief of the BCCI Sharad Pawar along with MoS in the UPA Praful Patel and Rajeev Shukla, claiming the three had helped him as well.

Meanwhile, former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram demanded the BJP-run Central government to release the details of correspondence between him and UK’s Chancellor of Exchequer in 2013 regarding the action sought on Lalit Modi by the then UPA government.

(With inputs from the PTI)