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Lalit Modi row: Raje may go, Swaraj likely to survive

By A Correspondent
June 19, 2015 02:41 IST
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As of Thursday, June 18, Narendra Modi and Amit Shah did not have an escape route to save the Rajasthan chief minister.

Pressure is mounting on Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, whose name features in the Lalit Modi controversy, to resign.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, who has also been implicated in the controversy, may survive.

Sooner rather than later, Raje will be asked to quit by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

As of Thursday, June 18, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah did not have an escape route to save the chief minister.

Raje is struggling to defend her action of supporting former Indian Premier League chief Lalit Modi's case for immigration to the United Kingdom, a decision that she wanted to keep hidden from the Indian government.

No decision has been so far taken in Swaraj's case.

The minister is facing heat from the media and the Congress Party, but she has escaped flak from the non-Congress Opposition parties.

Narendra Modi and Shah will not find it easy to ask Swaraj to resign. It appears that barring the media, Swaraj does not face any real pressure to resign because she has more than cordial relations with a spectrum of regional political leaders.

Even the Congress Party is divided on the issue of attacking her for helping Lalit Modi obtain travel documents from the United Kingdom.

After the first couple of days, Congress leaders shifted their attack to the prime minister, leaving Swaraj behind.

Narendra Modi and Shah are waiting for the weekend. By that time, fresh reports and new angles are likely to emerge in the Indian and British media.

If no more evidence or details of her family's involvement with Lalit Modi emerge, then Swaraj is unlikely to go.

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A Correspondent in New Delhi