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Lalit Modi controversy: Under fire from Cong, FinMin attempts damage control

Jaitley assures probe into Lalit-Dushyant loan

BS Reporter & PTI  |  Stanford (US) 

Arun Jaitley

Under attack from the Opposition for describing the deal between Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje’s son Dushyant Singh and former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi as a “commercial transaction”, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday said assessing authorities would continue to do their job in probing the matter.

Dushyant Singh, son of Raje, has been under attack over media reports that his company received Rs 11.63 crore in investments from Modi in 2008. Jaitley, commenting on the controversy, had said, “I do not want to comment on him (Lalit Modi), but it’s a commercial transaction between two individuals.” The Congress had on Monday attacked the Finance Minister.

In another development, BJP MP RK Singh on Tuesday struck a discordant note over party leaders Sushma Swaraj and Vasundhara Raje extending help to Lalit Modi, saying, “Any help to a ‘bhagoda’ (fugitive) is legally and morally wrong”.

The former Union home secretary urged the government to take all measures to bring him back to India to face the law. “If anybody helps a ‘bhagoda’, it is wrong legally as well as morally. If anybody meets a fugitive, it is absolutely wrong. Never mind who has helped him, I think it is completely wrong,” Singh said. He did not name either Swaraj or Raje. Asked if Modi was being “saved”, Singh said the departments concerned should be doing their job. “All measures should be taken to bring him back to India so that he faces the law,” he said.

A senior BJP leader termed Singh’s comments as evidence that there was still internal democracy within the party. “You in the media have written how (Prime Minister Narendra) Modiji has muzzled democracy within the BJP. But these statements, whether by RK Singh or Kirti Azad, are evidence that internal democracy is alive and thriving,” said a leader.

First Published: Wed, June 24 2015. 00:30 IST