Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said on Monday that the NDA government and the BJP were firmly behind Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje amid the controversy over her links with former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
Dismissing all allegations against Raje as “baseless”, Gadkari said after meeting the CM at her residence in Jaipur: “There have been reports that the party was not supporting her initially but they are all false. We were with her then and now. There was no corruption, no irregularity. I spoke to her and reassured her that the Centre and the BJP high command back her.”
Raje’s links with Modi came under the scanner last week after Modi’s lawyer released an unsigned “witness statement”, purported to have been written by Raje, when she was the Opposition leader, in favour of the former IPL chief. Days later, financial links between Modi and Raje’s son Dushyant Singh came to light.
BJP sources had initially indicated that Raje may have to “fight her own battle”, but the party’s national spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley later came out in her support, followed now by Gadkari.
“The allegations against Raje are baseless and do not point to any corruption. There is no legality in the charges. As for the allegations against her son Dushyant, it was purely a business deal and the Income Tax returns have been filed. It is not a crime to take a loan from anyone. To drag such deals into a political controversy is unfortunate,” said Gadkari.
“Raje is legally, logically and ethically correct. There is no unlawful act anywhere. The national as well as state unit of BJP and the central government stand by her. It is unfair to defame her,” he said.
“Personally, I feel that under Raje, the state is on a path of development and will continue to progress. It is clear that the progress in the state has intimidated others and hence such baseless charges are being levelled against her,” he added.
During the daylong visit, Gadkari also inspected the progress of projects undertaken by the NHAI in the state.