Jaipur/New Delhi: Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje returned to Jaipur on Saturday afternoon after failing to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the wake of charges that she helped former IPL chief Lalit Modi.
The chief minister, who left on Saturday morning by helicopter to attend a NITI Aayog meeting, spent some time at her house in Delhi before flying back to Jaipur afternoon, a source close to Raje said.
The source insisted that the chief minister went to Delhi only to attend a NITI Aayog meeting and that nothing else was scheduled in the national capital.
However, political analysts view her failure to meet the Bharatiya Janata Party’s top leaders as a snub.
BJP sources said Raje, under attack from the opposition which wants her to quit, wanted to meet Prime Minister Modi, Shah as well as Home Minister Rajnath Singh to give them her side of the story on the Lalit Modi issue.
“It seems that after being denied an audience by the top leadership, she felt it is better to come back to Jaipur,” said a BJP functionary on the condition of anonymity.
“She will certainly try again to reach out to the central leadership, and may send her close confidants from here (Jaipur) to meet them in the next couple of days,” he added.
The Rajasthan BJP is standing by the chief minister, saying that all the allegations hurled against her are baseless.
Rajasthan Health Minister Rajendra Rathore has said: “The party is fully behind the chief minister. There is no questioning of her resigning.”
The opposition has ganged up against Raje, saying she signed a witness statement in support of Lalit Modi’s immigration application for Britain when he was being probed by the Enforcement Directorate.
She was then the leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan assembly. According to the opposition, she also made it known that the matter should be kept confidential.
Ashok Parnami, the BJP state president, on Friday admitted that the documents being shown by the media do contain her signature on the last page.
“The document is not in official format of any UK court,” Parnami said. “The signed document is not a witness statement, and it was not presented in a court.”
In New Delhi too, a Rajasthan government official told IANS that Raje had no plans to meet either Prime Minister Modi or any other BJP leader.
“She was here only to attend the NITI Aayog meeting,” he added.
According to BJP sources, a meeting took place between Prime Minister Modi and Shah on Friday in which it was decided that Raje would attend the NITI Aayog meeting.
A BJP leader privy to the meeting told IANS on the condition of anonymity that the leaders also discussed “how to convert the Blue Corner Notice against Lalit Modi into a Red Corner Notice”.
“Lalit Modi can be detained in any country if the Red Corner Notice is issued,” he said.