Vasundhara Raje Government Recommended Lalit Modi For Padma Award In 2007, Says Rajasthan Congress

08/07/2015 7:35 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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Ex-chairman of India's cricket IPL, Lalit Modi (C), leaves the High Court in central London on March 5, 2012, after a hearing in a libel case brought against him by Former New Zealand cricket captain Chris Cairns. Cairns told the High Court in London on Monday that an accusation of match-fixing had reduced his career to 'dust' and strained his marriage. Cairns, 41, is suing Lalit Modi, the former chairman of Twenty20 franchise the Indian Premier League (IPL), for substantial libel damages over an 'unequivocal allegation' made on Twitter. AFP PHOTO / CARL COURT (Photo credit should read CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

JAIPUR—Rajasthan Congress today opened another front against Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje as it cited media reports claiming that Lalit Modi's name was recommended for Padma award during her previous tenure.

Seizing the opportunity, PCC President Sachin Pilot alleged that former IPL chief Modi "institutionalised" corruption in Rajasthan during the previous term of Chief Minister Raje.

"The latest revelation that the then state government led by Raje in 2007 had recommended Modi's name for Padma award has again substantiated close relations of Raje with Modi," Pilot said in a statement in reaction to a media report.

"Corruption was institutionalised during the earlier BJP regime and Lalit Modi played very important and crucial role in flourishing corruption," he alleged.

The Congress MP alleged that Lalit Modi had a big "interference" in government's functioning that time.

He also attacked the BJP central leadership for not taking action against the embattled chief minister.

"Central leadership of BJP is not taking any action against Raje despite all such revelations which shows that the party leadership had its nod to all irregularities committed during Raje's previous term as Chief Minister," Pilot said.

When contacted, the then Secretary of Rajasthan Sports Council, UD Khan, who reportedly recommended Modi's name to the state government to be forwarded to the Centre for Padma award in 2007 on ground of business and contribution in cricket, said that "any comment in this regard can be made only after examining files of that time."

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Raje have been facing flak for "helping" Modi in procuring travel documents in the UK, a country which he has made his home to avoid legal processes in India.

Raje came under fire after Lalit Modi's lawyers released an unsigned set of papers which they said was a secret witness document by Raje favouring Modi's immigration plea in a London court.

As per the documents Raje wanted to appear as a witness on the condition that Indian authorities are not told about it.

The chief minister's son, Dushyant Singh, was under attack over media reports that his company received Rs 11.63 crore in investments from Lalit Modi in 2008.

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