Raje in fresh Lalit Modi row, Congress too ensnared
New Delhi/Jaipur, June 26 (IANS) Pressure continued on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje to quit following charges of “financial dealings” with Lalit Modi but the BJP decided to defend her even as the controversy also shifted to Congress on Friday with the former IPL chief tweeting names of some top party personalities he had “met” recently.
Congress made fresh demands for Raje’s resignation citing an election affidavit of 2014 in which she had mentioned holding shares in company owned by her son Dushyant Singh alongside Lalit Modi.
With the allegations faced by Raje threatening to derail the monsoon session of parliament beginning next month as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is also facing demands for her resignation over her help in getting British travel documents to Lalit Modi, who is being probed in India for alleged tax evasion, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party chief Amit Shah on the issue.
Party sources said the leadership has decided to back Raje while tightening the noose on Lalit Modi in the cases faced by him. It is learnt to have decided that Interpol will be requested to issue a ‘Red-Corner Notice’ against Lalit Modi to enable his arrest.
Meanwhile, providing a new twist, Lalit Modi tweeted on Friday that he had run into Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka and her husband Robert Vadra in a London restaurant last year, triggering demands from the BJP for an explanation from the Congress chief.
“Happy to meet the Gandhi family in London. I had run into Robert (Vadra) and Priyanka separately in a restaurant.” He said the couple was with Timmy Sarna, who is with DLF Brands Ltd. “If I remember correctly, it was last year and the year before. Doubt either reported it to anyone. They were in power then,” he said.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala defended the Vadras, saying: “Looking at each other in a restaurant is neither a crime nor morally improper.”
Spilling some more allegations on Twitter, Lalit Modi claimed he and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had sat and chatted for three days in Istanbul.”Did KAPIL Sibal a congress politician report we sat and ate and spoke at a wedding for 3 days in Istanbul,” he tweeted. Asked by twitterati if he had met Sibal when he was a minister in the Congress-led UPA, he said “No – he was not. He met few weeks ago. Just for information. Congress thinks I am a pariah that’s why I mentioned (him).”
The Congress kept up pressure for Raje’s resignation.