The Lalit Modi-Sushma Swaraj scandal made deeper inroads into the BJP on Tuesday when documents made available to the press by Lalit Modi's lawyer revealed that Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje had backed the immigration application of former IPL chief commissioner, a fugitive from Indian law.
The BJP leader, who was leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan Assembly at the time, says in her statement that her support should "strictly" be kept hidden from Indian authorities.
Raje’s witness statement seems to have been included by mistake in a dossier of documents made available to the Indian media by Lalit Modi’s lawyer Mehmood Abdi, who took questions at a press conference on Monday evening.
“I make this statement in support of any immigration application that Lalit Modi makes, but do so on the strict condition that my assistance will become known to the Indian authorities,” the witness statement said. “I am a national of India and am resident there. I was on 8 March 1953 in Mumbai, India. I am currently the leader of the opposition in the Rajasthan State Assembly."
The two other supporters to Modi's application to UK immigration authorities were Abdi, the lawyer, and Robert Nicholls, head of a security agency hired by the Indian Premier League, which was also providing personal security to Lalit Modi before he fled India.
On Tuesday evening, Raje denied knowledge of the document. "I don’t know what documents you people are talking about," she told ANI.
Vasundhara Raje's first reaction to ANI: Of course I know the family(Lalit Modi),I've never made any bones about that pic.twitter.com/aseXG0VlDv— ANI (@ANI_news) June 16, 2015
Of course I know the family (Lalit Modi),bt I don’t know what documents you people are talking about: Vasundhara Raje pic.twitter.com/zME8g12X8g— ANI (@ANI_news) June 16, 2015
Reporter: You think it's a media trial?
Vasundhara Raje: That's left to you to decide. pic.twitter.com/X4fhzUCXl1— ANI (@ANI_news) June 16, 2015