In a surprise move, Congress has fielded Shweta Bhatt, wife of Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, to contest against chief minister Narendra Modi from Maninagar assembly constituency in Ahmedabad.
"Shweta Bhatt has been fielded by the party against Modi," a Gujarat Congress leader
He was suspended after he took on Modi, accusing him of asking the police to go slow on Hindus during the 2002 riots in which 1,200 people were killed.
He had told the Supreme Court in an an affidavit that Modi had allowed "communal riots in Gujarat as he wanted Hindus to vent out their anger against the minority community following killings of Kar sevaks in Sabarmati Express near Godhara railway station."
Bhatt's testimony before the Supreme Court appointed SIT headed by former CBI director Dr RK Raghavan had given direct evidence implicating Modi.
However, the SIT had overlooked it questioning authenticity of the evidences and credibility of Bhatt.
Bhatt was also arrested by Gujarat police for "trying to create evidence against Modi."
Meanwhile, there has been intense infighting in the party regarding selection of candidates.
The party has refused to give tickets to some senior leaders like Narhari Amin, former mayor of Ahmedabad Himatsinh Patel and former minister Naresh Rawal.
"These leaders have not been fielded by the party as they did not seem winnable candidates. They have lost two consecutive polls in 2002 and 2007 and have lost touch with the public," another leader involved in the selection process said.
To avoid backlash of the ticket aspirants and workers, the party has given mandate to the selected candidates asking them to file their nomination papers.
Today is the last day of filing of nomination papers for the second phase of polls.
Modi will also be filing his nomination papers from Maninagar at 12:39pm, which is considered auspicious time.