New Delhi, Jun 16: Lalit Modi, former IPL chief, tonight made explosive claims that Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje had supported in writing his immigration plea in Britain and that he has a "family" relationship with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj whose husband and daughter had provided legal services "free of cost".
Holidaying in the tiny Balkan nation of Montenegro, Modi told Rajdeep Sardesai of India Today TV channel in an interview that Raje had accompanied his wife to Portugal for her cancer treatment two years ago.
The comments of the tainted former IPL Commissioner assume significance because it came hours after it was reported that Raje had given a "Witness Statement" in August 2011 to British authorities supporting his case for immigration in Britain which he has made his base after fleeing from India where he faces serious charges of money laundering and FEMA violations.
Raje's purported "witness statement" was made public earlier in the day on behalf of the Modi camp but later tonight the Chief Minister said she was not aware of this document.
"Of course I know the family. I have always known them...(But) I do not know what documents they are talking about," she told reporters in Jaipur.
In the interview Modi said, "My relationship with Vasundhara Raje goes back 30 years. That relationship is known to everybody. She is a close friend of the family and my wife for a long time...She openly agreed to be (to be a witness), but unfortunately by the time the case went to trial, she was already Chief Minister, so she did not come to become a witness.
The statements she gave is all on records in the courts." "Raje and Sushma supported me when my wife was sick," he said.
"It was a family, a legal whatever you may call it. We were very close. But the point is not that...I am very close to a lot of politicians, not only Mrs Swaraj...," Modi said when asked about his relationship with Sushma Swaraj.