A day after the BJP defended Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje — who has been facing allegations of helping former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi — party leader and former home secretary RK Singh dubbed Modi a fugitive (bhagoda) who deserved no help.
“If anybody helps a bhagoda (fugitive), it is wrong. This is wrong legally as well as morally. If anybody meets a fugitive, it is absolutely wrong. Whosoever has helped him, I think it is completely wrong,” Singh said.
This happened a day after Union minister and former BJP chief Nitin Gadkari had sought to mount a defence of Raje. He had said: “The allegations against Vasundhara Raje are baseless....Vasundhara ji legally, logically, ethically is completely correct.”
Singh apart, the BJP has also been embarrassed over party leader and former cricketer Kirti Azad calling for a probe. “Why not the other people who were on the governing council of IPL and executive committee of the BCCI? Everybody needs to be probed,” Azad has said.
The Centre has in recent days been jolted by allegations that external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj sought to facilitate travel documents for the former IPL chief and that Raje agreed to be his secret witness for his immigration application in the UK. This was after he had faced charges of irregularities. Raje’s son and BJP MP Dushyant Singh has also been accused of receiving business benefits from Modi.
The BJP and RSS had begun to back Swaraj early on, accepting her line that she had helped Modi on humanitarian grounds as his wife had to undergo cancer surgery in Portugal.
While there was no clear clean chit to Raje initially, Gadkari’s open backing was being seen as a sign that the BJP was supporting the embattled Rajasthan CM. RK Singh’s statement is being seen as having disturbed the party’s script.