New Delhi: Vasundhara Raje has reportedly admitted to party leaders that she did, four years ago, sign a document in which she backed the immigration appeal of disgraced cricket tycoon Lalit Modi. The BJP, sources said, does not plan to ask her to resign as Rajasthan Chief Minister. Instead, in her support, the party could say that the contentious affidavit was presented as personal support and not in Ms Raje’s official capacity as then Leader of Opposition in Rajasthan.
That defence will find no traction with the opposition Congress, which, last night, released the signed copy dated August 11 in which Raje told UK officials said India’s expansive investigation Modi was “a full frontal attack” that was “politically motivated.”
Sources in the BJP say the party’s top leaders have examined the seven-page document and are in touch with Raje, who is a powerful regional leader.
On June 16, Ms Raje denied any knowledge of the document after Modi, who now lives in London, ousted it in a television interview and underscored that the politician had sought a legal guarantee of confidentiality for her statement.
When Modi furnished Raje’s document to a UK court, the Congress-led UPA coalition was in power, he had fled to London amid a series of corruption cases linked to his stint as chief of the Indian Premier League, and his passport had been cancelled by India.
Last year, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj backed another request by him in the UK for urgent travel documents. The minister, whose husband and daughter have worked as lawyers for Modi, said her intervention was humanitarian, because he needed to travel to help his ailing wife.
The Congress, voted out last year amid corruption scandals, has warned of plans to disrupt parliament when it opens for the monsoon session next month unless Swaraj and Raje resign.