NEW DELHI:Even as pressure mounted on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to step down following documents purported to be carrying her signatures surfacing in the public domain, her office termed the news reports “untrue and unsubstantiated” aimed at causing “political damage” to her.
Senior ministers in the Union Cabinet, Arun Jaitley and Venkaiah Naidu, came out in defence of the beleaguered leader and dismissed suggestions of any wrong doing on her part. Jaitley said no one was tainted, while Naidu maintained that there was no crisis in the party. “There is no corruption in the Government, nobody can put an accusing finger on this Government,” Naidu said.
Sources said the BJP was still studying the authenticity of the documents, while Raje is learnt to have indicated that signatures could be hers, but as any affidavit carries signatures on all the pages, her signatures were not present on all of them. While maintaining a wait and watch approach, party spokespersons have been asked to brazen it out than give into the Congress’ allegations.
Raje’s office came out with statements denying speculations in the media that she had convened a meeting of BJP MLAs, considered close to her, in a show of strength.
The Chief Minister’s Press Advisor Mahendra Bhardwaj, in a statement, said few electronic news channels were showing false reports. “By tarnishing or damaging her image, the channels are causing political damage to the Chief Minister... Electronic media should not run false news based on rumours. Such news are baseless and rumour-oriented, and before running such news, a confirmation and investigation was required,” the statement added.
Though the BJP was studying the documents to prepare the defence, the party is still firmly backing Raje. “What is the impropriety in the case of Raje? These are only some documents. Their authenticity is yet to be proved. Did she testify before any court or a judge? Has the UK government said anything?” was the defence of party spokesperson Sambit Patra.
“Even if we presume the documents to be true, we know that they had family relations,” Patra added suggesting that party was accepting the signatures may not be fake.
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