‘Driving force’: BJP targets Sonia Gandhi after SIT report on Gujarat riots case
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said Ahmed Patel was the conspirator according to the SIT affidavit but ‘his boss’, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, was the ‘actual driving force’ behind the conspiracies
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday launched an attack on the Congress alleging that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the “driving force behind the conspiracy” to destabilise the Gujarat government and to implicate then chief minister Narendra Modi after the 2002 riots in the state.
The BJP’s allegation came after the Gujarat police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT) on Friday claimed in an affidavit before a court in Ahmedabad that activist Teesta Setalvad was part of a “larger conspiracy” hatched by late Congress leader Ahmed Patel.
BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said according to the SIT affidavit Ahmed Patel was the conspirator but the “actual driving force” behind the conspiracies was “his boss”, Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
“The reality has been revealed in the affidavit today that there was a conspiracy but who were the ones that were driving these conspiracies? It was Ahmed Patel, the former Rajya Sabha MP and former chief political advisor to the Congress president Sonia Gandhi,” Patra said at a press conference.
In its affidavit in the Ahmedabad city civil sessions court on Friday, challenging Setalvad’s bail plea, the SIT formed to probe Setalvad along with R B Sreekumar, then ADGP, Armed Unit, for criminal conspiracy and forgery, cited statements of witnesses and said the conspiracy was carried out at the behest of Ahmed Patel.
“The statements of these two witnesses establish that the conspiracy was enacted by Setalvad along with other accused persons, at the behest of Late Shri Ahmed Patel, the then Member of Parliament from Rajya Sabha and political advisor to the President of the Indian National Congress,” said the report.
The Congress on Saturday claimed that the charges levelled against Patel are part of Modi’s “systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for communal carnage” unleashed when he was the chief minister of Gujarat.
“The prime minister’s political vendetta machine clearly does not even spare the departed who were his political adversaries. This SIT is dancing to the tune of its political master and will sit wherever it is told to,” the party alleged in a statement.
The BJP spokesperson said Ahmed Patel was just a name but the actual conspirator was Sonia Gandhi. “Sonia Gandhi tried to malign the image of Gujarat using Ahmed Patel’s name. She tried to dismiss and destabilise the then state government led by Narendra Modi,” Patra said.
He further cited the affidavit that said Teesta Setalvad had received financial assistance of ₹ 30 lakh from a top leader of a rival political party. “No one knows how many crores of rupees Sonia Gandhi has spent to malign the BJP and Modi’s name and promote her son Rahul Gandhi,” Patra added.
“With clear conscience we besiege Sonia Gandhi to come and hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Narendra Modi,” he said.