The spotlight was on her as she landed here amidst the buzz that she could be meeting home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah to discuss allegations over supporting Lalit Modi’s immigration plea and her son Dushyant Singh’s business connections with him.
Vasundhara Raje and MP CM Shivraj Singh on Saturday
Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje arrived on Saturday morning to attend the NITI Aayog meeting and returned without making any other stop in the Capital, looking unruffled by the storm over her links with Lalit Modi. The spotlight was on her as she landed here amidst the buzz that she could be meeting home minister Rajnath Singh, finance minister Arun Jaitley and BJP chief Amit Shah to discuss allegations over supporting Lalit Modi’s immigration plea and her son Dushyant Singh’s business connections with him.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> With the BJP standing by her, senior party leaders were of the view that her meeting with them would only spark off further speculation, sources said. Raje was understood to have been scheduled to meet Singh in the morning, but this was cancelled to avoid queries and speculation on the discussions. The senior leadership advised her to leave for Jaipur after the NITI Aayog meeting, sources said. Raje left the NITI Aayog meeting discreetly from the rear gate in somebody else’s car, giving the slip to the media waiting for her at the entrance. She returned to Jaipur after spending around four hours in the Capital, which she had visited the first time ever since the controversy surfaced. While BJP sources did not confirm if she had been scheduled to meet any of the party leaders, they said she left Delhi after the event like all all other chief ministers who had come for the meeting. The BJP had prepared its line of defence on Friday after it was convinced that there was no legal wrongdoing, sources said. It has apparently been conveyed to Raje that the leadership would back her. Politically, too, a resignation would not be an easy step for the party. Besides being a popular chief minister with support of 162 party MLAs, stepping down would be seen as acceptance of charges leaving the leader tainted. Also, even if Raje quits to make way for a smooth session, in which the GST and land acquisition bills are slated to be taken up, the Opposition could turn its focus on external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. While party spokespersons have been defending Raje, Shah has been silent on the charges against Raje. The BJP chief had made a categorical statement on the controversy involving Swaraj helping Lalit Modi to get travel papers. In Raje’s case, the party was treading cautiously awaiting clarity on the matter. However, on Friday the party gave her a clean chit. Car in CM’s convoy hit by TV channel vehicleA vehicle in the convoy of Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje was hit on Saturday by a TV channel’s car as she was headed to the NITI Aayog from Delhi airport. The CMO said: “At a few places, accidents were about to occur” as the electronic media followed Raje’s convoy from Delhi airport to NITI Aayog. There were jams caused at two places due to the “uncontrolled” driving as some TV channel crews attempted to chase and encircle her car, added the Chief Minister’s Office. The TV crew were “driving their vehicles rashly,” it was alleged. “Mediapersons are requested to take care of their security and others’ too… We are worried for you… We do organise press conferences and issue press statements to reply to your questions… We will follow this in the future too,” it added. “Is media’s role right? Media is said to be the fourth pillar of democracy,” the CMO further remarked.
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