The Congress on Saturday said the ruling BJP was “rattled” at the prospect of defeat in Gujarat and was thus making “baseless” terror allegations against Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel.
Reacting to Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani’s allegations against Patel, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP was hatching a conspiracy against the Congress MP and asked the party to look inwards.
The Congress leader said: “The BJP is staring at defeat in Gujarat and that is why they are rattled and making such baseless allegations against Congress leaders. Truth will win and the BJP will be defeated in Gujarat.”
Rupani on Friday night demanded Patel’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha alleging his links with Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged Islamic State operatives arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad on Wednesday in Surat. The arrested suspects were allegedly planning to blow up a synagogue in Ahmedabad.
Patel has rubbished the charge that he had links with Stimberwala.
“Sardar Patel Hospital is a charitable hospital in which 150-200 employees work. Neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members is a trustee of the hospital. They also don’t hold any office of profit in the hospital,” said Surjewala, adding that Stimberwala was one the employees.
He said the ATS should initiate a probe against the suspected terrorists if it has evidence.
“The Gujarat Chief Minister, in order to hide his incapability, is trying to hatch a conspiracy against Congress leader Ahmed Patel and making baseless allegations against him in a very despicable attempt,” the spokesperson said.
“The Congress has always fought against terrorism while the BJP has had an opposite record. Would Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah explain how terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s wife came to Mumbai under their nose in March 2016 and then left the country. How the Maharashtra government and intelligence agencies didn’t even get a whiff of it and could not arrest her?”
Surjewala also said that some Islamic State agents arrested in Madhya Pradesh were found to have links with the BJP. “One of them Dhruv Saxena, was also a member of BJP’s IT cell,” he said.
“Is it not true that the BJP-PDP government in Jammu and Kashmir gave compensation to the family of terrorist Burhan Wani in December 2016,” Surjewala asked.
He also pointed out that the previous NDA government had released dreaded terrorists like Maulana Masood Azhar, Mushtaq Ahmed Jargar and Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh from the Indian custody in the Kandahar hijacking incident.
“A Maharashtra BJP leader Eknath Khadse had to resign for his alleged links with Dawood. So, the BJP should look inwards before pointing fingers at others.”