Fresh questions loomed over Rajasthan CM Vasundhara Raje’s shareholding in her son and BJP MP Dushyant Singh’s firm Niyant Heritage Hotel Pvt Ltd (NHHPL) linked to ousted IPL commissioner Lalit Modi.
Raje holds 3,280 shares in NHHPL but curiously, each of these shares was worth only Rs 10 in 2013, years after Modi had allegedly bought significant stake in the company for an eye-popping Rs 96,000 a share. Modi paid the money in two tranches in 2008 and 2009.
In November 2013, in the affidavit for contesting the Rajasthan assembly polls, Raje had listed these shares valued at Rs 32,800 as among her total assets worth Rs 4.04 crore.
While BJP leaders have said the shares were gifted to Raje by her son and daughter-in-law and the fact that she declared them among her assets proves she has nothing to hide, questions remain whether Raje had masked the true worth of these shares to avoid paying taxes.
In 2007, Modi gave NHHPL an “unsecured loan” of Rs 3.80 crore not backed by any collateral. He followed this up by acquiring 815 shares in the company between 2008 and 2009 for Rs 11.63 crore, valuing each share at Rs 96,000 — a hefty premium of 9,600 times.
Modi had allegedly acquired these shares through his company Anand Heritage Hotels Private Limited (AHHPL).
An unrelenting Congress has said that Raje’s election affidavit proves her direct financial involvement with Lalit Modi and called for her resignation. “Vasundhara Raje’s 2013 election affidavit corroborates that she has 3,280 shares in Niyant Heritage Hotels. These documents now prove a direct financial link between her and Lalit Modi. The papers prove that they are business partners,” Congress spokesperson Ajoy Kumar had said.
BJP sources had earlier indicated that her explanation to the party was “satisfactory” and the party as well as the RSS have reportedly conveyed to her that her position is safe. The party is of the view that the CM can not be held responsible for any private business dealings that have not faced any probe from any appropriate authority.
On Saturday, a confident Raje came to Delhi for the Niti Aayog meeting but avoided speaking to the media on the Lalit Modi issue. Party sources said home minister Rajnath Singh advised her to focus on her work.
Lalit Modi row: BJP backs Raje but keeps a safe distance