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BJP backs Vasundhara Raje even after she admits to helping Lalit Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Pressure continued to mount for her resignation over help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, but the BJP leadership has decided to back Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje for now, even after she reportedly conveyed to party leaders that she had testified on his immigration application document.

Raje met some party legislators on Thursday, while her office accused some TV channels of “constantly running” baseless and false news on her alleged links with Lalit Modi even as the Congress, which had shown a document about Raje testifying in favour of Lalit Modi’s British immigration application in 2011, continued to keep up pressure on Thursday for her resignation.

Bharatiya Janata Party sources said that Saudan Singh, who is organisational incharge of Rajasthan, and general secretary Arun Singh met Raje in Jaipur on Wednesday following Congress showing the purported document.

According to the sources, the chief minister told the two leaders that document contained her signatures. She is also learnt to have told the two leaders that she had testified in her personal capacity when she was the leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan assembly.

Raje is also learnt to have conveyed that she was willing to resign if other leaders facing accusations were willing to do so.

What has seriously embarrassed the BJP is her reported statement that she did not want her support to Lalit Modi to be made known to Indian authorities.

Party sources said Raje, who is scheduled to come to Delhi on June 27 for a meeting of Niti Aayog, had not been asked to resign so far. They said she had also dug in her heels and signalled that she would not resign on her own, and signalled she had support of the vast majority of BJP legislators in the state as well as MPs.

“While the leadership is concerned about image of the party being hit due to opposition’s pressure, it has to ensure that there are no divisions,” a party functionary told IANS.

Another functionary said the BJP leadership has decided to back the chief minister for now.
“Vasundharaji is not going to be asked to resign under any kind of pressure – be it from Congress or from media,” he said.

The RSS has also cautioned the BJP leadership against falling into any “media trial trap”, informed sources told IANS.

According to them, the RSS is of the view that if Raje is asked to resign, the pressure will mount on the BJP to take a call over External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who is too accused of helping Modi in getting British travel documents for going to Portugal in 2014 after his Indian passport was revoked.

Raje on Thursday met her cabinet colleagues and party legislators and functionaries in Jaipur to gauge her support, state BJP sources said. More BJP leaders, including legislators, were expected to meet her on Thursday and Friday, the sources added.

“It seems the meeting with MLAs and others is a pressure tactic. She wants to tell the BJP leaders that she enjoys the support of the BJP state unit,” a BJP leader told IANS.

State Health Minister Rajendra Rathore, who is a known supporter, ruled out her resignation. “The BJP is fully behind the chief minister. There is no question of her resigning,” he said here.

The Congress has however taken an aggressive stand against Raje and threatened to launch an agitaion if she did not resign, while the Communist Party of India-Marxist and the Aam Aadmi Party have also demanded her immediate resignation.

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Karnataka Polls: BJP On The Way to Win, Congress May Get Hard Defeat

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

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A state of 60 million people, Karnataka is home to the Information Technology hub of Benguluru and was ruled by the BJP once before.
Congress may have to taste defeat in Karnataka, VOA

The BJP was on Tuesday set to return to power in its southern bastion Karnataka as its candidates crossed the half-way mark in vote count, stunning and ousting the ruling Congress and leaving the JD-S at the third spot.

Noisy celebrations broke out in party offices in Bengaluru, New Delhi and across Karnataka as Bharatiya Janata Party nominees were on the victory lap in 118 of the 222 constituencies which voted on Saturday.

This was a dramatic jump from the 40 seats the BJP won five years ago.

The Congress, desperate to retain power in the state amid shrinking appeal nationally, suffered major blows and was ahead only in 62 seats, with Chief Minister Siddaramaiah trailing in both the constituencies he contested: Badami and Chamundeshwari.

The Congress leader was way behind G.T Deve Gowda of the Janata Dal-Secular in Chamundeshwari, Election Commission officials said. And after leading initially, Siddaramaiah fell behind B.R. Sriramulu of the BJP in Badami.

In contrast, the BJP’s Chief Ministerial face B.S. Yeddyurappa was ahead of his Congress rival by more than 11,000 votes in Shikaripura.

Energy Minister and Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar said that the numbers indicated that his party was on the way out after five years in power.

Any party or grouping will need 113 of the total 224 seats to secure a majority in the Assembly. Polling did not take place in two constituencies on Saturday.

The BJP was overjoyed. “We are in a jubilant mood because we have crossed the half-way mark. We are confident of winning,” spokesman S. Shantharam told IANS.

BJP activists and leaders celebrated noisily in both Bengaluru and New Delhi, waving party flags and shouting slogans hailing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, their main vote-getter, and party President Amit Shah.

There were also celebrations outside the residence of Yeddyurappa, who has been Chief Minister earlier too.

Of the 2,654 candidates in the fray for the May 12 Karnataka Assembly elections, at least 883 are crorepatis and 645 have criminal cases against them, said two watchdogs after analysing their affidavits filed with the Election Commission (EC).
Karnataka Polls counting suggests big win for BJP, wikimedia commons

The Janata Dal-Secular of former Prime Minister H.D. Dewe Gowda, which has been expected to play the role of a kingmaker in the event of a hung Assembly, was leading in 40 seats — the same number it won five years ago.

As the vote count progressed, BJP leaders became assertive, saying they were confident of taking power again in Karnataka while Congress leaders began to speak about the possibility of an alliance with the JD-S.

BJP leader and Union Minister Sadanand Gowda said that there was no question of any alliance.
Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in charge of Karnataka, met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi.

Analysts said the BJP was leading in Lingayat dominated seats and the JD-S in Vokkaliga dominated areas.

Expectations of a BJP victory in Karnataka lifted the key Indian equity indices during the mid-morning trade session on Tuesday.

Modi’s Performance: Survey Reports That Significant Number of People Rate Performance of Modi Government as Below Expectations

According to market observers, broadly subdued Asian indices and disappointing macro-economic inflation data points released on Monday capped some gains.

Sector-wise, healthy buying was witnessed in banking, capital goods, metals, consumer durables and automobile stocks.

The Sensex has so far touched a high of 35,993.53 points and a low of 35,498.83 points during the intra-day trade. (IANS)

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