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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014
Cong defends Ahmed Patel, attacks Modi
PTI
Ahmedabad/Rajkot, December 03, 2012
First Published: 18:30 IST(3/12/2012)
Last Updated: 22:55 IST(3/12/2012)

Congress on Monday accused chief minister Narendra Modi of trying to polarise voters in Gujarat by dragging the name of Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the Congress president, in his election campaign and asked him not to interfere in the internal affairs of the party.

Modi was also accused of playing the "communal card".

The BJP stalwart during electioneering had said Congress had no leader in the state and that it was willing to make Patel the chief minister.

"They never had the issue of development in 2002 and 2007 (elections). Everyone knows what issues they fought on... In 2012 they do not have any issue which can divide the society, or stoke passions. So now the history repeats in 2012 -- they are trying to rake up...Ahmed 'Mia' Patel (issue)", Shankersingh Vaghela, Congress poll committee chairman, told reporters in Ahmedabad.

As Patel is a Muslim from Gujarat, Modi was trying to polarise voters using his name, Vaghela said.

"This is disgraceful, and does not behove Modi," he said.

"The political secretary to Congress president, who suggests names of several chief ministers in other states, holds a high office in UPA-II. Will he ever be interested in Gujarat?" Vaghela said, alleging that Modi's remarks came from his "mental perversion".

"To mislead the people, he targets Delhi, Ahmed Patel," Vaghela said, adding that it was not the Centre that was doing injustice to the state, but it was the Modi government which had meted out injustice to the state's people.

Echoing Vagela's sentiments, opposition leader in the state Assembly Shaktisinh Gohil said Modi should not interfere in Congress's internal affairs.

"Modi should not bother about who would be Congress's candidate...Congress is not contesting these elections for power. Our aim is to restore Gujarat's pride," Gohil told reporters in Rajkot.


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