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Lalit Modi Row: RSS asks BJP to take final call on Swaraj, Raje

The RSS had earlier justified the BJP’s stand on Swaraj and pointed out that she was not involved in any kind of corruption and what she did for Lalit Modi was purely on humanitarian grounds.

india Updated: Jun 26, 2015 15:37 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times
Sushma Swaraj,Vasundhara Raje,Lalit Modi Row

The RSS has left the final decision on embattled external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje to the BJP leadership, top functionaries of the outfit said on Friday.

According to insiders in the RSS – the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP - senior Sangh leaders like Mohan Bhagwat, Bhaiyyaji Joshi and Krishna Gopal have already communicated their stand to the party leadership.

RSS ideologue MG Vaidya told Hindustan Times that it was an internal issue of the BJP and the party was free to take any decision on Swaraj and Raje.

“Why should RSS intervene in the matter as the BJP is competent enough to take its decision on these issues in view of its image? I am confident that the BJP would take an appropriate decision in this regard,” he said

The BJP-led NDA government was drawn into its first major political crisis after it emerged that Swaraj and Raje had helped former IPL czar Lalit Modi in procuring UK immigration documents. Modi is wanted in India for alleged money laundering and fraud.

To add to the BJP’s woes, a Delhi court admitted a fake-degree case against Union HRD minister Smriti Irani while Maharashtra minister Pankaja Munde was entangled in an alleged Rs 206-crore child benefit scandal.

Vaidya, a former senior functionary of the sangh, however, pointed out that in the case of Munde, it has emerged that the beneficiary contactor was a Congressman.

Another senior swayamsevak, who preferred anonymity, said RSS chief Bhagwat had a talk with top BJP functionaries, including president Amit Shah, over the Swaraj and Raje issue and left the decision to the party with a caution warning that it should ensure its image ahead of the assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The RSS had earlier justified the BJP’s stand on Swaraj and pointed out that she was not involved in any kind of corruption and what she did for Modi was purely on humanitarian grounds.

“As far as Raje is concerned, the BJP would take an appropriate decision, if needed,” the senior swayamsevak said.

Though 62-year-old chief minister enjoyed the confidence of BJP legislators in her state, party leaders have said that her position was vulnerable after the emergence of documents that purportedly showed she signed off on the UK immigration application of Modi.

Dilip Deodhar, a former senior RSS swayamsevak and an RSS observer, pointed out that both the issues might be of concern for the RSS and particularly Bhagwat, but given his working style he would not intervene in the issue and allow the party to take a decision.

“The RSS is with Swaraj as there is no allegation against her and what she did was on sheer humanitarian grounds,” Deodhar added and claimed that it was view of all its leaders.

The BJP has so far continued to stick to the option of riding out the storm for the time being by backing the beleaguered ministers, although the Congress’s cry for their removal was getting shriller.

First Published: Jun 26, 2015 15:14 IST