Vasundhara Raje's name in Lalit Modi row, says unaware of document
New Delhi/Jaipur: Adding a new twist to the Lalit Modi controversy, the name of Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje cropped up on Tuesday with allegations that she testified in favour of the former IPL chief's British immigration application in 2011.
The Congress demanded Raje's resignation, even as she said she knew Lalit Modi's family but was not aware which document people were talking about.
The revelation apparently was made in a statement released by Lalit Modi's legal team. The statement mentioned that Raje, who was then leader of opposition in the Rajasthan assembly, said she was in favour of Lalit Modi's immigration application but on the strict condition that her name will not be revealed to the Indian authorities.
"This witness statement is provided on the strict understanding that its contents and the identity of its maker are treated confidentially and that it is used only for the purposes stated in it," says the Confidentiality Notice dated August 18, 2011, purported to be Raje's witness statement.
"I make this statement in support of any immigration application that Lalit Modi makes, but do so on the strict condition that my assistance will not become known to the Indian authorities."
The letter was part of the documents mailed to news channels on Monday night by a PR firm engaged by Lalit Modi's lawyer Mehmood Abdi.
The documents are being circulated on social networks by the media.
Vasundhara Raje, in a press note issued by her media advisor, later Tuesday said: "I know the family of Lalit Modi. But I am not aware which document people are talking about."
Former chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Gehlot in a statement said he has been "constantly raising the corruption nexus between Vasundhara Raje and Lalit Modi since 2003-04".
"If chief minister Raje had heeded to my warnings, she would not have seen this day," he said.
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh told NDTV news channel: "There is no option for Vasundhara Raje but to resign."
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is caught in the midst of a controversy for helping Modi, former IPL commissioner who is charged with financial impropriety, with travel documents. Sushma Swaraj admitted she helped Modi on "humanitarian grounds".
The episode has caused huge embarrassment to the government as Modi is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate for financial bungling in the money-spinning Indian Premier League.
He has been living in London since 2010 after the ED issued a blue corner notice against him, which aims to locate, identify or obtain information on a person of interest in a criminal investigation.