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BJP stands firm with Vasundhara Raje, says authenticity of documents not verified

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Jaipur: Rajasthan BJP Chief Ashok Parnami addresses a press conference in Jaipur on June 19, 2015. (Photo: IANS)
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New Delhi: The BJP on Friday stood firmly behind Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, saying that the authenticity of the documents being cited to show that she had helped former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi are not verified.

“Vasundhara has never denied her close family relations with Lalit Modi and the validity of those documents which were produced is yet to be verified,” BJP spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said at a press conference.

Raje is embroiled in a controversy over allegations that she testified in favour of Lalit Modi’s British immigration application in 2011 and Modi made investments in her son’s company.

“It is not corruption either technically or legally…The Opposition is not able to debate with the government on positive issues, so they are blowing this out of proportion. I want to ask under which government’s rule did the Lalit Modi corruption case was discovered,” said Trivedi.

Rejecting the Opposition’s demand for Raje’s resignation, Trivedi said there was no truth in the charges against Raje.

“Is there any substantive evidence? Is there any corruption?” he added.

“As far as Dushyant Singh’s case is concerned, all these facts given in I.T. returns and election affidavit are already in the public domain,” he added.

Dushyant is a BJP MP from Jhalawar-Baran constituency in Rajasthan.

The BJP continued to defend Sushma Swaraj as well for her alleged role in extending help to the former IPL chief procure travelling documents.

“Our president has already spoken on the issue and that’s the stand of the party. Union ministers Arun Jaitley and Rajnath Singh have also clarified the stand. After their comments, there is nothing more to add,” Trivedi told media persons when asked about Swaraj’s alleged help to Lalit Modi.

Sushma Swaraj had allegedly helped Lalit Modi in procuring documents to travel to Portugal last year for his cancer-stricken wife’s treatment.

Earlier in the day, Raje cancelled her visit to Anandpur Sahib in Punjab, citing health reasons.

She was to share the dias with BJP president Amit Shah and Home Minister Rajnath Singh there.

However, a BJP leader informed on the condition of anonymity that she cancelled her programme after a message from Amit Shah’s office. (IANS)

 

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India Begins Its Election Season With Five States

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh.

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India, elections
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he addresses the gathering during the 'Global Mobility Summit' in New Delhi, India, VOA

India began on Monday the first of five state elections to be held in coming weeks, important tests for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he plots a course that he hopes will ensure him victory in a general election due by May.

Voters in the central state of Chhattisgarh went to the polls on Monday to elect representatives for 18 of the state assembly’s 90 seats in a staggered poll complicated by logistical problems and left-wing guerrillas.

The state of about 26 million people has been ruled by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) since 2003, and he will be hoping to hold on to power.

India, elections
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Continues To Stay Mum On The #MeToo Movement. Wikimedia Commons

“Some unholy people have handed guns to children who should have pens in their hands,” Modi told a rally in the state on Friday, referring to the rag-tag guerrillas battling government forces from forest hideouts. “They’ve finished the lives of our tribal children.”

Hundreds of election workers had to be flown in to remote polling stations by helicopter because of the danger posed by the rebels.

Modi called for voters to back his BJP and its vision of “development for all.”

The final phase of voting in Chhattisgarh, which is known for its coal, iron ore and bauxite reserves, will be on Nov. 20.

India,India, elections
India’s Congress party President Rahul Gandhi displays documents as he accuses Narendra Modi’s government of buying 36 Rafale fighter jets from France’s Dassault at a highly inflated price, in New Delhi, India. VOA

The BJP was the preference of about 43 percent of voters in Chhattisgarh, 7 percentage points ahead of the main opposition Congress party, according to a survey released last week by the Lokniti-Centre for the Study of Developing Societies.

Modi’s other big tests will be in the neighboring central state of Madhya Pradesh, where the BJP is slightly ahead of Congress, according to polls, and in the northwestern state of Rajasthan, where Congress is expected to emerge victorious.

A good performance by the BJP in the elections would help it deflect growing criticism over unemployment and a crisis in the countryside over falling farm prices and wages.

India, elections
Modi Appeals For A Regional Front Against Terrorism, flickr

Elections will also be held for assemblies in Telangana in the south and Mizoram in the northeast.

The BJP has sent top leaders to campaign in Chhattisgarh, including Yogi Adityanath, a firebrand Hindu priest and the BJP chief minister in Uttar Pradesh state.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Announces Easier Access to Credit

Adityanath has been appealing to the BJP’s Hindu-nationalist base and on Sunday accused the opposition of blocking construction of a temple for Hindu god Ram on a disputed site in Uttar Pradesh.

The destruction of a mosque on the site by a Hindu mob in 1992 sparked deadly riots across the country. (VOA)