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HindustanTimes Fri,24 Oct 2014

Kejriwal should contest against Modi in Gujarat: Amit Shah

PTI  New Delhi, March 07, 2014
First Published: 23:36 IST(7/3/2014) | Last Updated: 23:38 IST(7/3/2014)

With Arvind Kejriwal questioning claims of development in Gujarat, Narendra Modi's close aide Amit Shah on Friday asked him to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls against the Gujarat chief minister in the state on this issue.

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"If there is no development in Gujarat, he (Kejriwal) should contest against Modi from Gujarat," Shah said while participating in 'India Today Conclave' in New Delhi.

The BJP leader was referring to claims by Kejriwal, who undertook a tour of Gujarat, that there was no development in the state as insisted by Modi.

AAP leader Manish Sisodia, who was also present in the event, responded by saying that he would want Kajriwal to stand against Modi even from Gujarat.

He added that it was for BJP to decide on a seat for its prime ministerial candidate first as there were reports of internal dissension.

Shah said a decision on where Modi should contest will be taken by BJP's Parliamentary Board.

While defending Modi government's performance in Gujarat, the BJP leader said that AAP had been brought by Congress as it could not afford a direct contest with BJP.

Sisodia retorted by saying that his party had fought Congress for more than two years but as the time for change has come, the BJP wants to cash in on the situation.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh claimed that there were serious charges against ministers in the Gujarat cabinet.

Shah hit back saying that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi only on Thursday shook the hand of Ashok Chavan who faces allegations in the Adarsh Society matter.

In his reply to Singh, Shah further said he had been jailed but that was due to Congress' policy of victimisation.

Sisodia said there was much talk about development in Gujarat but after visiting the state he felt the reality was totally different.

He said several education institutions were in poor condition and basic amenities such as toilets were not there in a number of schools.

When Sisodia asked why Arvind Kejriwal, a former Chief Minister, was not allowed to meet Modi, Shah responded saying that his party was answerable only to the people of Gujarat and did not think it was necessary to answer them.

He further said that AAP had quit its government in Delhi as it felt that it would be a disadvantage to them.

However, replying to the same question put up by the moderator, Shah said that for such meetings, time is sought and issues are decided.

"To seek meeting before elections and later politicise it before the media was not proper, Shah said.

Taking a dig at AAP for making it an issue that Modi did not meet Kejriwal, he said the entire episode took him several years back at a time when he witnessed student politics.

Speaking during the interaction, Digvijay Singh said Congress had raised the same issues about aspects of Gujarat's development which AAP was raising now and said the media had not highlighted it in the same way.

Singh criticised NDA over its handling of Indian Airline plane hijack case to which Shah said many lives were at stake at that time.


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