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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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“Corruption Exists in all Fields and Cricket is No Exception”, Says Kabir Khan

According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans

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"I think there is corruption in every profession... a grey area exists in every field, be it cricket, corporate, cinema…it is ultimately dependent on how an individual holds himself or herself", says Kabir Khan. Wikimedia

Filmmaker Kabir Khan, whose latest docu-drama titled “Roar of the Lion” revolves around the downfall of the Chennai Super Kings for match fixing, followed by their victorious comeback in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL), says that corruption exists in all fields and cricket is no exception.

Asked if young players get influenced by power and money that the IPL offers and get involved in match fixing, Kabir told IANS here: “I think there is corruption in every profession… a grey area exists in every field, be it cricket, corporate, cinema…it is ultimately dependent on how an individual holds himself or herself.”

“Of course in cricket, when players are starting at a young age for an obvious reason… with IPL when they get exposed to huge money, attention and celebrity status, it is easy to lose control and get carried away.”

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According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans. Wikimedia

“Ultimately, more than an opportunity, it becomes more important how you are utilising the opportunity. If you conduct yourself right and stay focussed on your game, you will become a successful professional,” he added.

Many players earn celebrity status overnight thanks to the IPL.

Asked if becoming a celebrity cricketer is easier now, Kabir said: “I think becoming a celebrity itself is much easier these days. One can become a celebrity by writing a blog or travelling the world…but some get the fame of 15 minutes and some find a place in the history books…in their respective fields depending on their consistent contribution.”

“The IPL is, of course, one of the great platforms to find talent from the hinterland and they are getting the opportunity to play international cricket. But yes, unless your performance is consistent, you won’t be able to survive in the competition.”

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During the filming of the show, he interacted with some of the fans who had strong faith in CSK and said that the team will come back and again win the trophy. Wikimedia

The story of “Roar of the Lion” has already been reported by mainstream media.

Emphasising on the unique elements of the show, Kabir shared: “We have never seen Dhoni (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) opening up and talking about what he went through when the team got involved in the match fixing allegations and was banned for two years. During that time, Dhoni was completely silent.”

“Nobody knows how he dealt with the whole situation internally. I think that conversation makes the show different, makes it unique,” he added.

According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans.

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According to Kabir, the ban of the team was not only shattering for the players but also for the fans. Wikimedia

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During the filming of the show, he interacted with some of the fans who had strong faith in CSK and said that the team will come back and again win the trophy.

“When the team came back… since the age group of the players was above 30, the new team was ridiculed by the media and fans of other teams. They called CSK as ‘Chennai Senior Kings’, ‘buddhe ki fauj’ etc. Despite all that, when the team won the 2018 IPL, their victory was the answer to all the criticism. That is why it is an inspiring story that deserved to be told,” said the filmmaker, who is also making a movie on the 1983 Cricket World Cup.

“Roar of the Lion” is streaming on Hotstar. (IANS)