Lalit Modi row: Vasundhara Raje rubbishes reports of signature campaign by party MLAs

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje

Jaipur, June 26: In the dock over Lalit Modi row, beleaguered Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has dismissed media reports that she has not been asked to resign by the party. She also rubbishes reports surrounding her, including that of a signature campaign by 120 party MLAs in her support.

In a statement, a CMO spokesman said the Chief Minister holds “jansunwai” (public hearing) at her residence every Friday, and for this many MLAs come with the public of their constituency for putting forward their problems and demands.

The spokesman said: “Similarly today, the CM is holding public hearing in which MLAs and party workers are meeting”, adding “The news of signature by 120 MLAs (in her support) is completely wrong. It is not fair to link public hearing with a different view”.

The CMO said the Chief Minister never asked or made any call to MLAs to show their strength and support. This is the second day that her office has rubbished media reports surrounding her.

The Chief Minister’s Press Advisor had said last night that “false” reports were being run on the basis of “rumours” to tarnish her image and cause “political damage”.

The CMO spokesman said that some channels were still broadcasting “baseless and untrue” news, adding “The Chief Minister has not made any such statements shown in TV news channels. Some media channels were running news to tarnish the political image of Chief Minister”.

The CMO advised the media to carry only confirmed news.

The Chief Minister is in the dock for reportedly giving an affidavit in favour of Lalit Modi, former IPL Commissioner who is facing ED probe into alleged money laundering in connection with organising of IPL tournament.

Lalit Modi has made London his home ever since the probe began in 2010.

Earlier on Thursday, Senior BJP leaders jumped to Vasundhara Raje’s defence with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley saying nobody is “tainted” and the party questioning authenticity of documents, showing her to have backed Lalit Modi’s application for immigration to the UK.

Jaitley told reporters at the Delhi airport after his return from the US: “There is nobody who is tainted please.”

Another senior minister, M Venkaiah Naidu, said the Narendra Modi government was working in the “most honest and transparent” manner blamed some “unhappy people” for the outcry over Raje’s help to the former IPL boss.

Their defence of the formidable Rajasthan leader, who has led party to its biggest Assembly as well Lok Sabha win, came after she dismissed media reports against her as “untrue” and aimed at “harming her politically”

BJP Secretary Shrikant Sharma hit out at Congress for levelling “baseless allegations” against Raje and claimed the opposition party was acting out of “frustration”.

The Congress and the AAP intensified their demand for the resignation of Raje as Chief Minister by holding protests in the national capital.

Former Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Thursday asked his successor Vasundhara Raje to resign immediately over her alleged involvement in the Lalit Modi controversy on moral grounds, instead of waiting for BJP high command’s decision.

Gehlot hit back at BJP for accusing Congress on the issue and “creating a misunderstanding”, adding “ulta chor kotwal ko dante (thief blaming the cop)”.

(Wih Agency Inputs)

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