Congress, BJP spar as Teesta accused of acting  at Ahmed Patel’s behest

Through her chief political advisor Ahmed Patel, she attempted to malign Gujarat’s image.

Published: 17th July 2022 08:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th July 2022 08:11 AM   |  A+A-

AHMEDABAD /NEW DELHI: A bitter war of words erupted between the Congress and the BJP on Saturday over the Gujarat Special Investigation Team (SIT) affidavit’s claim that the grand old party gave `30 lakh to activist Teesta Setalvad in 2002 to destabilise the state government headed by Narendra Modi.

According to the affidavit filed in the sessions court on Friday, Setalvad had entered into a larger conspiracy at the behest of late Congress leader Ahmed Patel to dismiss the BJP government in the state. It added that she obtained illegal money and other benefits from the party.

Terming the charges “motivated” and “manufactured lies”, the Congress targeted PM Modi. “This is part of Modi’s systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002. It was his unwillingness and incapacity to control this carnage that had led the-then PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee to remind the chief minister of his ‘raj dharma’,” said Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh.

The BJP hit out at the Congress, alleging party chief Sonia Gandhi was the mastermind behind the conspiracy. “Ahmed Patel is just a name, the driving force was his boss Sonia Gandhi. Through her chief political advisor Ahmed Patel, she attempted to malign Gujarat’s image. Through him, she attempted to defame Narendra Modi. She was architect of this entire conspiracy,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said. The SIT’s affidavit points out that in 2007, the then Congress-led UPA government conferred the Padma Shri to Setalvad for her “malicious and vexatious prosecution”.

Patel’s daughter Mumtaz Patel tweeted: “So their campaign for Gujarat election has begun by dragging Ahmed Patel’s name in conspiracy theories. They did it before the election when he was alive & are still doing it when he is no more.”



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