Vasundhara Raje, Shashi Tharoor, Swaraj Kaushal Were On Lalit Modi's Four Seasons Hotel Guest List In 2010

18/06/2015 8:23 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Congress supporters shout anti-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slogans as they burn effigies of External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj and former cricket administrator, Lalit Modi during a protest in Kolkata on June 17, 2015. Congress ramped up its demand for the resignation of Rajasthan chief minister, Vasundhara Raje and External Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj a day after controversial former Indian Premier League (IPL) boss Lalit Modi claimed they helped him with his travel papers in Britain. AFP PHOTO/ Dibyangshu SARKAR (Photo credit should read DIBYANGSHU SARKAR/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — The revelations in the politicians-Lalit Modi nexus get murkier each day as investigations reveal that the former IPL chairman hosted Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, accused of supporting Modi’s immigration plea in Britain, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai in 2010.

This comes even as Raje has categorically denied any wrongdoing saying she has no knowledge of the document released to the media that establishes her alleged role in helping Modi.

The bills show that Modi also hosted Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, Rajeev Shukla and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's husband Swaraj Kaushal during their stay at the hotel.

Kaushal stayed in the hotel from March 21 to March 22, 2010 and ran up a bill of Rs 13,000.

An Indian Express report said that from January 1 to April 30, 2010, the IPL chairman booked the 'Club' suite of the Four Seasons Hotel and operated out of it instead of the BCCI office. Modi was billed Rs 1.56 crore for the duration of stay.

Raje and Tharoor stayed at the hotel during the IPL with the expenses billed to the Indian Premier League. Raje's room cost Rs 19, 719 while Tharoor's room was charged Rs 25,612.

Buoyed by the biggest scandal to have hit the Narendra Modi government, the opposition has announced the start of an agitation from Thursday to demand the resignation of Swaraj and Raje.

At its executive committee meeting held in Udaipur yesterday, Congress passed a resolution demanding the resignations of Swaraj and Raje.

Swaraj and Raje are both accused of secretly helping Modi, who is wanted by the Enforcement Directorate in cases of forex violation, travel to Portugal to tend to his ailing wife.

Yesterday Raje called up BJP President Amit Shah and explained her position.

Party sources said she sought to explain her ties between the two families and her friendship with Modi's wife but said that the documents being circulated are "unverified and unsigned".

"Of course I know the family. I have always known them...(But) I do not know what documents they are talking about," she has said.

Shah, besides Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have come out in support of Swaraj, saying she has only acted out of 'humanitarian' reasons to help Modi with his travel documents to take care of his ailing wife.

Congress's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters that the BJP leadership, "instead of defending the indefensible" needed to sack both of them without delay.

"There is a clear-cut culpability on part of Swaraj and Raje under sections 107, 120-b, 166A, 172,173,177,217 of the Indian Penal Code. Raje also needs to be prima facie investigated for offences under Prevention of Corruption Act," he said.

Targetting Modi, he said that the PM has "a conspiratorial silence, which can only come from a person who is guilty himself or who has something to hide". (With inputs from PTI)

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