Congress mounts pressure on Rajasthan CM, BJP backs Raje

New Delhi/Jaipur, June 24 (IANS) Stepping up pressure for resignation of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje over her help to former IPL chief Lalit Modi, the Congress on Wednesday showed documents purportedly containing her signature which, it said, made clear she had testified for a “fugitive”.

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajasthan unit president Ashok Parnami defended Raje and accused the Congress of trying to defame her.

At a press conference in Delhi, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh accused Raje of “lying” and said that BJP leadership should seek her immediate resignation as the documents with his party were real and and not fake.

“In August 2011, Vasundhara Raje had given a statement and on the basis of that she had demanded that Lalit Modi, who is a ‘fugitive’ should be allowed to stay in England only,” Ramesh said.

He alleged that Raje had lied again and again and denied the documents. “Today those papers are in front of the country and there are her initials in them. I want to tell BJP president Amit Shah that these are not fake, they are real.”

“Today it is clear that she had made a statement in favour of Lalit Modi and the BJP had said that if the documents have her signatures then we will surely demand her resignation,” he said.

Ramesh said for a government which preaches a corruption-free governance and a prime minister who says there is zero tolerance for corruption, there was only one way out that Raje should resign immediately.

“Nobody should deny this. There is no need for any probe. The Rajasthan chief minister should resign right now,” Ramesh said.

“Not only has she violated laws, she has lied. The documents are there, they are not fake but real. There is need for no more evidence. Raje stands thoroughly exposed,” he added.

“Actually, it is three ministers who should given their resignation. Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and HRD Minister Smriti Irani.”

Ramesh said the case against Sushma Swaraj doesn’t disappear.

Taking at dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he said: “I know it is difficult for a silent prime minister to take three resignations together… a PM who has gone into a shell.”The senior Congress leader said his party would continue its protest both inside and outside parliament.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore said: “The BJP is fully behind the chief minister and there is no questioning of her resigning.”

BJP state unit president Parnami said the party would only be able to comment on the issue after seeing the documents.

“She did not go personally to depose before the British authorities. We will only be able to comment after seeing the documents, the contents and the context.”

“She as a chief minister, leader of opposition and state president of the BJP used to sign lots of documents. We have to look at the documents first before giving any comment on the issue,” Parnami said.

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