A cricket administrator in Rajasthan on Wednesday defended chief minister Vasundhara Raje after documents emerged purportedly showing that the embattled BJP leader had recommended former IPL chief Lalit Modi for a Padma award in 2007.
Media reports said on Wednesday that during her first tenure as chief minister between 2003 and 2008, Raje had recommended Modi for the award for his contribution to the game of cricket in the state. The fresh revelations could potentially brew fresh trouble for the embattled BJP leader with the opposition Congress, which has been targeting Raje for her alleged links with Modi, was quick to open another front against her, stating that the former IPL chief “institutionalised” corruption in Rajasthan during her previous term.
The Congress is demanding Raje’s resignation after Modi released documents which purportedly showed that she helped him to procure travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India. Modi is wanted in India for alleged money laundering and fraud.
The fresh media reports said that in 2007 the government had sought information from the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA) about Modi after the state government decided to recommend his name for a Padma award. The RCA sent the information on July 27, 2007 to sports council secretary, who forwarded it to the secretary of youth affairs and sports the next day.
Lalit Modi had become the RCA president after Raje had brought an Ordinance in 2004 to allegedly help him occupy the top spot of the state cricket body.
Then RCA secretary Subhash Joshi confirmed the state government’s recommendation but defended the decision. “The man brought seven ODIs to Jaipur in less than a year after taking over the RCA affairs, renovated the SMS stadium and created a world-class cricket academy. What was wrong in recommending his name for the award when there was no taint on him then?” Joshi asked.
Yunus Khan, who was the sports minister in the previous BJP government, said he didn’t remember the case. Khan is now the PWD minister.A cricket administrator in Rajasthan on Wednesday defended chief minister Vasundhara Raje after documents emerged purportedly showing that the embattled BJP leader had recommended former IPL chief Lalit Modi for a Padma award in 2007.