Gujarat model has not been of use, says Ahmed Patel

Gujarat model has not been of use, says Ahmed Patel

He is a crucial part of Sonia Gandhi’s inner coterie and a critical component of her political team. But despite being a backroom player for the Congress, 64-year-old Ahmed Patel, political secretary to the UPA chairperson, is trying to play an open and upfront role in Gujarat, where the Congress has been all but decimated in the last 15 years. Patel is now camping in his home district of Bharuch in central Gujarat. Swati Bhan caught up with him on his campaign trail.

 
Pre-poll predictions are against Congress. How do you intend to create an impact?

As a Congress party worker it is my first duty to ensure that we campaign on the basis of facts and not created truth. The people of this nation are being fooled by false propaganda and false promises, the Congress will not allow that to happen. The party leaders are reaching out to the people with the achievements of UPA regime and educating people on what is not being said.
 
Is the use of technology and the blitzkrieg by the BJP and its PM candidate Modi a disadvantage to the Congress?

No, I do not think so. People do understand that all the propaganda and shouting at the top of the voice about falsities will not convert the false into truth. So while Modi might continue to blame the UPA, people are aware that in reality even the Gujarat model has not been of any use to the people of this state. They have seen him for the last decade and I am sure they do not want to have the same disaster at the national level.
 
Is the sentiment of a Gujarati PM going to work in favour of the BJP in the state?
People of this state have always voted with a lot of sense. They know who deserves to rule the country and they vote accordingly. So while the BJP might be trying to cash in on and rake up emotions, it will not work and, on the contrary, the Congress will win at least one more seat than that in the previous elections in 2009.

Would the stepping in of the Gen Next help the fortunes of the Congress?

Yes, the young leaders are actively involved and distribution of tickets also has ensured that there is enough representation of the youth in the party. Though there have been some wrong decisions in ticket distribution, that will not affect the fortunes of the party in any way. And Rahul Gandhi’s decision of conducting primaries for selection of candidates is a major step toward internal democracy in the party and people are not blind toward such developments.
 
Has the book, `Accidental PM’ by Sanjaya Baru, the PM’s former advisor, damaged the fortunes of the Congress in any way?

No, in no way, as there is not an iota of truth in whatever has been written. And, moreover, those who understand politics question the timing of the release of the book.  He has been out of the PMO for a long time now, so why time the release right now?

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