NEW DELHI:Even though the government and the BJP rallied behind External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj for extending help on “humanitarian grounds” to former IPL czar Lalit Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje’s was left high and dry with the party and the Centre keeping mum, leaving the latter to defend herself.
Maintaining that Vasundhara had herself made a statement on the issue, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The details will have to be looked into. The details will have to be taken.”
As the issue snowballed into a major controversy, Vasundhara called up party chief Amit Shah to explain her side of the story.
Sources said the Rajasthan CM spoke about her ties with Lalit’s family and discussed the claims made by the latter in his interview and documents leaked to the media. Party sources said Vasundhara has sought to explain her ties between the two families and her friendship with Lalit’s wife, but the documents being circulated in the media are “unverified and unsigned”.
The Rajasthan CM in her statement to media on Tuesday had said she had no knowledge of the documents being shown by the media. The document purportedly showed her backing former IPL chief’s immigration plea in the UK. “Of course I know the family. I have always known them...(But) I do not know what documents they are talking about,” she had said earlier.
With the Opposition mounting pressure on the BJP to take action against Sushma and Vasundhara, sources said they would back both of them. And they added that the matter could escalate during the Monsoon Session of Parliament.
As for now, the party appears to be trying to contain the Vasundhara issue to the state level, leaving her to do the talking and the state unit to defend her. This strategy is aimed at not trying to nationalise the issue, while letting the state unit to handle it. Telecom Minister Prasad again defended Sushma on Wednesday.
He added that the issue was not discussed during the Cabinet meeting. Reacting to questions on Vasundhara allegedly backing Lalit’s immigration plea, Prasad was guarded, while hastening to add that the documents shown on TV did not carry her signature.
He also took a swipe at former Finance Minister P Chidambaram, who had demanded a release of all letters written to British authorities.
“I think Chidambaram is becoming wiser after losing power. That red corner, blue notice or a shade of blue notice was pending for many years,” he said.
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