North India Times

BJP-Congress spat over Lalit Modi

lalit-modiThe Lalit Modi controversy today took a new turn with the former IPL commissioner tweeting that he met Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra at a restaurant in London.

Modi’s claim has triggered fresh war of words between BJP and Congress in the row over the help rendered to the tainted former IPL Commissioner by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to secure British travel document for him.

Reacting to the claims by Modi, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said neither Priyanka Gandhi nor Robert Vadra has ever interacted socially with Lalit Modi. Mr Surjewala said it is an attempt to divert attention from charges being faced by senior BJP leaders.

On the other hand, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley after he returned from abroad, today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi. They are understood to have discussed the Lalit Modi travel document controversy issue and future course of action. Meanwhile, BJP has asserted that it fully supports Ms. Raje and questioned the silence of Congress President Sonia Gandhi after the Lalit Modi claimed that he met Priyanka Gandhi and her husband Robert Vadra in London. Talking to AIR, BJP Secretary Shrikant Sharma said Ms. Raje is a popular Chief Minister and entire party is behind her. He rejected opposition demands for her resignation saying the allegations against her are baseless.

The party also said even if Ms Raje had backed the immigration appeal of Lalit Modi, she had not testified in court on his behalf and hence the opposition criticism of her supporting a man wanted for financial crimes in India was misplaced. Rajasthan Chief Minister is likely to reach Delhi tonight or tomorrow morning to attend the NITI Aayog meeting . She is also expected to meet BJP central leadership to explain her position on the issue.

The Congress today alleged Lalit Modi, a fugitive benefited Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Raje by buying 815 shares from his company. Briefing media in New Delhi this evening, party spokesperson Ajoy Kumar said, fresh documents now prove direct financial involvement of Rajasthan Chief Minister and her family members with Lalit Modi. The spokesperson also sought to know from the BJP as to when will the Chief Minister of Rajasthan step down. Mr Kumar said, in view of enough proof and evidence in the public domain against Mrs Raje for helping out fugitive Lalit Modi, the Prime Minister must immediately ask her to resign.

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