BJP rules out resignations over scams, PM ticks off Shanta Kumar
Prime minister Narendra Modi ticked off senior BJP leader Shanta Kumar on Wednesday for speaking out on corruption scandals involving senior leaders, while the party ruled out any resignations, reports said.
At the BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi asked MPs to be "proud" of the Centre's work and BJP chief Amit Shah told them that all the states ruled by the party were doing "a very good work with honesty."
NDTV reported that Modi, referring to Shanta Kumar's outburst, told the MPs that they should "speak to leaders before making public comments" on such serious issues.
The PM also said there was "no need to spread misinformation" and that the party will counter the opposition's allegations of corruption against external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje and Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Chouhan.
While Swaraj and Raje are under fire for helping tainted former IPL chief Lalit Modi, who faces an enforcement department probe for alleged money laundering and forex violations, Chouhan is under pressure to quit over the Vyapam admission and recruitment scandal.
Shanta Kumar had reportedly written a letter to BJP chief Amit Shah saying the scandals blemished the government's image. The letter was later posted on social media, giving powerful ammunition to the opposition Congress which has been demanding the resignation of the three leaders.
“From Rajasthan to Maharashtra, people started pointing fingers at us. The Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh has forced all of us to hang our heads in shame,” the letter said.
The 45-minute meeting saw Swaraj telling the parliamentarians that she offered no help to the former IPL boss, party leader Muktar Abbas Naqvi told reporters after the meeting.
"I offered neither any financial benefit to him nor did I help him flee India. I never told the British government to give him travel documents. All I did was to tell them that their decision (on Lalit Modi's request) will not affect their ties with India," Naqvi said quoting her.
"Congress is trying to make a mountain out of a molehill. Here there is not even a molehill," she said and added that she had rejected pressure from some senior Congress leaders to give diplomatic passport to coal scam accused Santosh Bagrodia.
She also strongly defended the Madhya Pradesh government over Vyapam scam, Naqvi said.
Shah called upon the party MPs and workers to strongly counter those with "distorted mindset", a dig at opposition parties, and said they, especially Congress, have no real issues against the Modi dispensation.
"We will expose those we are trying to disrupt our journey on the path to progress over fabricated issues. We will take them in Parliament and on streets... We will not let Congress succeed," Naqvi quoted Shah as saying.