Targeting Ahmed Patel aimed at ‘washing BJP’s sins’ of Gujarat riots: Congress

The Congress’ Maharashtra unit on Saturday slammed the BJP for targeting its late leader Ahmed Patel, terming it as a desperate attempt to “wash” the party’s image tarnished in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“The allegations against Patel are cheap and baseless. It is only intended to cover up the sins of the Gujarat genocide of 2002… Even the then Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee had reminded (then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra) Modi of not following the ‘raj dharma’ during the riots,” Congress state President Nana Patole said.

“Not only was the then government of CM Modi incompetent in handling the situation at the time, but it even lacked the will to control it – and the shadows of that sin will never leave…,” he said.

The riots had damaged the country’s global reputation but now, the BJP is deliberately attacking political opponents as a last-ditch effort to brighten up its tarnished image, he said.

“The Modi-Amit Shah conspiracy of torturing and harassing the Opposition parties through the government machinery has not spared even those who have died. Since the BJP has nothing to show in Gujarat, its resorting to defaming the Congress ahead of the Assembly elections there,” Patole alleged.

Referring to the recent developments, Patole claimed said that the SIT which has falsely implicated the late Patel is a “puppet” of the government and a special award was given to a former SIT chief for giving the then CM Modi a clean chit.

The Congress leader said the people of Gujarat are not happy with the BJP as the so-called Gujarat Model of development has collapsed, and despite being in power even at the Centre, it has not been able to rein in the galloping inflation, massive unemployment, and a falling economy.

Dwelling on the allegations against former Vice-President Hamid Ansari, he termed them as “false and politically motivated”.

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