Will they or won’t they step down is the question that is on all minds, as pressure mounts on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government to sack External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Human Resource and Development Minister (HRD) Smriti Irani, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and Maharashtra Minister Pankaja Munde.
“It is time for Raje to come clean. The BJP should sack Raje to ensure a fair probe,” said Congress leader Sachin Pilot at a press conference here. "There&’s a tussle within the party. They should take a step immediately,” he said.
Swaraj and Raje have come under severe flak from the opposition over the allegations for their connections with the scam-tainted former IPL chief Modi. Raje, intially denied signing any paper in favour of Modi. However, on Monday she admitted that she had signed documents supporting the former IPL commissioner’s immigration to UK.
“Forensic check is not even pertinent. The documents are there in front of everybody,” Sachin said when asked about probing the authenticity of Raje&’s signatures, adding “The more they delay, the more it will hurt their image. It is costing the party a lot of capital, especially Prime Minister Narendra Modi.”
The AAP also threatened nationwide protests if HRD Minister Smriti Irani did not quit within three days over the discrepancies over her educational qualification.
Stepping up its attack on the BJP-led government, the AAP also dubbed PM Modi as "Manmohan Singh Part II" for not speaking over Irani and other controversial issues.
AAP leader Ashutosh told the media: "Smriti Irani must resign the way (Delhi’s former law minister) Jitendra Singh Tomar did. If action is not taken against Smriti Irani in the next 72 hours, we will hold protests all across the country."
A Delhi court on Wednesday took note of a complaint that Smriti Irani allegedly misrepresented her educational qualification in election affidavits.
Also demanded the resignation of Swaraj and Raje, the AAP questioned the BJP leadership over these controversies involving the three women leaders.
"Modi claims to be a strong leader but silence is making him Manmohan Singh Part II," Ashutosh said.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Rashid Alvi said, "Raje had admitted the fact that she was a part of the corruption with Lalit Modi."
"All documents should be made public and strict actions should be taken against her. Raje should immediately resign from the chief minister’s post," Alvi said, adding, "She has no moral right to continue as the chief minister."
Alvi also demanded Swaraj’s resignation and said, "She should also resign otherwise people will not forget and forgive PM Modi." He said, "They are totally exposed before the nation."
Earlier, on Wednesday, Munde was caught in a controversy, with the Congress accusing her of involvement in a "scam" by clearing purchases of items worth Rs.206 crore for children under the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) by the Women and Child Development Ministry which she heads, on a single day instead of inviting tenders in violation of the norms.