Allegations against Ahmed Patel baseless: Cong

Allegations against Ahmed Patel baseless: Cong

New Delhi, DHNS: Congress on Saturday rubbished terrorism allegations against its senior leader Ahmed Patel and accused the BJP of religious polarization ahead of Gujarat polls.

Party chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP is "staring at defeat" and is therefore making baseless allegations against Patel, who won a hard fought Rajya Sabha election in August.

On Friday night, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanded Patel's resignation from Rajya Sabha, accusing him of having links with Mohammad Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged ISIS operatives arrested by state anti-terror squad in surat.

"The allegations are baseless," Patel had said, even as the Congress dared the Centre to investigate the matter. Party sources said Patel intends to file a defamation suit against Rupani.

Surjewala rejected Rupani's allegations that Patel was associated with the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Charitable Hospital in Ankleshwar, where Qasim was employed briefly.

"Sardar Patel Hospital is a charitable hospital in which 150-200 employees work," Surjewala said. "Neither Ahmed Patel nor any of his family members are a trustee of the hospital. They also don't hold any office of profit in the hospital.

Congress also accused BJP president of political vendetta to settle scores as he took Patel's Rajya Sabha election victory as "personal insult".

Congress does not need lessons in nationalism from the BJP since its leaders have sacrificed their life in the service of the nation, Surjewala said.

"We would like to know how terrorist Dawood Ibrahim's wife visited Mumbai in March 2016 without the Maharashtra government or the intelligence agencies getting a whiff of it?" the Congress leader asked.

Reminding that a senior minister of NDA-I accompanied dreaded terrorists to Kandahar in 1999, the Congress spokesperson said: "BJP should look inwards before pointing fingers."

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