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Supporting Raje difficult for BJP

BJP is trying to pick up the thread of Lalitgate controversy from a wider angle and that turned out to be the topic of the recent developments resulting in Vasundhara Raje failing to get an appointment with PM or the BJP President in the National Capital. The support extended by the Bharatiya Janata Party to Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje falls short of the sort of endorsement it has offered to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

After attending NITI Aayog deliberations, Raje returned to Jaipur without meeting top leaders and the move suggests her pathetic position. Both Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah had refused to give her an appointment and it is a rejoinder for things to follow. The former IPL commissioner Lalit Modi appeared to be trying to reach out to the Prime Minister, after the Interpol “red corner notice” threat against him. However, one thing is for sure that the episode took place during the UPA government’s regime. Thus, slowly and steadily the momentum is shifted as the main scandal took place under the previous regime. Congress is tight lipped despite token agitations. The earlier silence of both ex-PM Dr. Manmohan Singh and Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, the position became serious and even Indian cricketers were involved in the mug. Supporting Raje appears to be difficult as the curtains are slowly falling on the Rajasthan CM’s tenure.

It’s really strange that the Congress hasn’t responded to the central point of the BJP-proxies and Modi-supporters, including some senior journalists, that the cases against the former IPL-commissioner pertained to only FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) which didn’t require his custodial interrogation. According to this line of defence, Modi’s supporters are perfectly right in arguing that he could have been questioned through video-conferencing. In fact, a former police commissioner of Mumbai, who testified in support of Modi in London that the case was related only to FEMA, which didn’t need custodial interrogation and the punishment, if at all found guilty, was only a fine.

We are not a society that is based not upon the kindness of strangers. We are very firmly a society based upon who-you-know. We measure our rise through society often by wealth, especially unexplained wealth. But it should really be measured by our acquisition of connections. Wealth is just one manifestation of the richness of our connections. We were a LinkedIn society long before that idea became a company.

If anything there is probably some unspoken admiration for Lalit Modi about how well he played this game and the breadth of his connections from Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje to Rajiv Shukla and Sharad Pawar. Sushma and Vasundhara were right to help a friend, What they did wrong was to lie about it” she glosses over the fact that while we might understand why Sushma and Vasundhara might want to “help” a friend, that does not necessarily make it “right”. That depends entirely on the help being sought.

Jayanthy Subramaniam

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