Sonia Gandhi was 'driving force' behind 'conspiracy' to implicate PM Modi in Gujarat riots: BJP

The two parties traded charges after the Gujarat SIT told the court in an affidavit that Ahmed Patel, who died two years ago, had plotted against PM Modi in collusion with arrested activist Teesta Setalvad.

FPJ BureauUpdated: Saturday, July 16, 2022, 11:18 PM IST
article-image
Sonia Gandhi | File Photo

NEW DELHI: The BJP has alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the "driving force" behind the "conspiracy" to implicate PM Modi in the Gujarat riots, even as the Congress party refuted the charges "manufactured" against its late leader Ahmed Patel, who was a close aide of Gandhi.

The two parties traded charges after the Gujarat SIT told the court in an affidavit that Patel, who died two years ago, had plotted against PM Modi in collusion with arrested activist Teesta Setalvad.

Setalvad was arrested last month, a day after the Supreme Court re-affirmed PM Modi's exoneration in riots.

"Patel is just a name. The driving force behind this conspiracy was Sonia Gandhi. We want Sonia Gandhi to hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Modi," spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a news conference.

Lashing out at the SIT’s ‘fabricated’ account, in a statement, Congress general secretary in charge of communications, Jairam Ramesh, dubbed the ‘disclosure’ as a part of the Prime Minister's ‘‘systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for the communal carnage unleashed when he was chief minister of Gujarat in 2002.’’

Jairam recalled that it was Modi’s unwillingness and incapacity to control this carnage that had led the-then Prime Minister of India Atal Behari Vajpayee to remind the chief minister of his ‘raj dharma’.

"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 Congress general secretary said.

Jairam added: "We know how an earlier SIT chief was rewarded with a diplomatic assignment after he had given a ‘clean chit’ to Modi."

BJP’s Sambit Patra, however, asserted the SIT has clarified in its affidavit that Patel was only an agent in effecting Gandhi's ulterior designs as her chief political advisor. He claimed Sonia had even given Rs 30 lakhs as the first instalment to Teesta Setalvad through Patel to trap Modi in the false conspiracy.

He also referred to the SIT affidavit saying the money was ostensibly given to Teesta for providing relief to the riot-hit people, but the donation given to the Gujarat Relief Committee was used for personal expenses. Patra said Sonia was so impressed with Teesta that she even got her the civilian award of Padma Shri.

The BJP leader dwelt on an FIR that was registered by Feroze Khan Pathan of the Gulbarga Housing Society -- where a former Muslim Congress MP was killed -- alleging that the money was collected to provide succour to the riot victims and to set up a museum, but the entire sum was spent by Tessta on herself. The Gujarat High Court had also endorsed this charge, Patra claimed.

He alleged that crores collected in the name of the museum were transferred to Teesta’s accounts.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

'ICC needs to put more time': Kapil Dev on survival of ODI, Test cricket

'ICC needs to put more time': Kapil Dev  on survival of ODI, Test cricket

Karnataka: Miscreants vandalise Tipu Sultan's posters in Bengaluru, three arrested

Karnataka: Miscreants vandalise Tipu Sultan's posters in Bengaluru, three arrested

Manchester City's defender Benjamin Mendy labeled 'predator' as rape trial starts

Manchester City's defender Benjamin Mendy labeled 'predator' as rape trial starts

Committed to provide quota benefits to OBCs, Maratha & Dhankar communities: CM Eknath Shinde

Committed to provide quota benefits to OBCs, Maratha & Dhankar communities: CM Eknath Shinde

Independence Day 2022: 75 yrs ago country showed strength of walking on path of truth, non-violence,...

Independence Day 2022: 75 yrs ago country showed strength of walking on path of truth, non-violence,...