Gujarat's former home minister Amit Shah wants the special CBI court to grant him bail for the role he played in turning the state into the "best police state in the country".
This is one of the main arguments on which the close aide of Chief Minister Narendra Modi has based his bail application in the fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and the subsequent murder of his wife, Kauser bi, case.
Sheikh, Kauser Bi and Tulsi Prajapati were picked up by a joint team of Gujarat and Rajasthan police in Andhra Pradesh on November 24, 2005 and were taken to a farmhouse owned by a Bharatiya Janata Party corporator Rajesh Jirawala.
On November 26, Sheikh was killed in a staged encounter, while Kauser Bi was eliminated a few days later. Prajapati was also killed in a false encounter about a year later.
Shah surrendered to the Central Bureau of Investigation on July 26, as the agency named him as one of the 15 accused in the case.
The bail plea of Shah, filed through his lawyer Mitesh Amin two days after his arrest, will be heard on Monday.
In his 24-page plea — a copy of which is in possession of HT — Shah alleges that he is a victim of the Congress' political vendetta as he had become an "eyesore and a soft target" for the BJP's political opponents.
Shah alleges that the arrests made by the CBI are part of a "political game-plan of the central government, which was … only interested in targeting the ruling party in Gujarat, which the Indian National Congress is unable to defeat in a democratic way."
He says the reason for the vendetta is also that he was instrumental in ousting Congress leaders from the controlling positions of two top cooperative banks and Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) "in a democratic manner".
Congress leaders had been controlling Ahmedabad District Cooperative Bank Ltd and Gujarat State Cooperative Bank since 1964 and 1966, respectively. But he contested the elections for seats on the board of directors of the banks and won, taking along some other candidates who "subscribed to the BJP ideology."
Similarly, he was part of the panel of BJP leaders who contested last year for various portfolios of the Congress-controlled GCA and won the battle.
While he was elected vice-president, his mentor Modi became the president of the association.
Thus, Shah claims he helped end the rule of former deputy chief minister and Congress leader Narhari Amin, who "had been president of the association for more than two decades".