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11:40 am - Saturday April 21, 2018

BJP flays Ahmed Patel: Fields Naqvi on terror links row

Agencies, New Delhi

The BJP stepped up attack against Congress leader Ahmed Patel for his alleged nexus with a terrorist in Gujarat and said till now the principal opposition party used to be linked to corruption, but now people are linking it to terrorism. “….atankvad aur atank vadio se bahut hi gehera rista hae (It appears there was a very strong link between Congress leader Ahmed Patel and terrorism and the terrorists),” BJP leader and Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters here.

“We have raised a question and the question is very serious…..We used to say Congress is linked to corruption. Now people are saying Congress is linked to terrorism,” he said. “Everything should become clear, once they come clean,” Mr Naqvi said. “As reported in the media, terrorists were linked to a hospital with which Ahmed Patel was associated.

There are photographs of Patel and others. We have not printed these photographs.Terrorism is bigger than corruption and Congress must come clean on the issue,” he said adding, else the “blot” on them will be larger than corruption. He said instead of action, the Congress had accused the ruling BJP of politicising the matter. Mr Naqvi said:

“We are not doing any politics over the issue and BJP-led NDA government’s policy is clear: it is the security of the nation and its people which are at stake”. Two suspected IS operatives were arrested by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Wednesday in Surat. According to an FIR, one of the accused, Qasim Stimberwala, earlier worked as a technician at Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar town of Bharuch district.

Ahmed Patel, also a Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat and known close aide of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, has already dismissed the charges saying, matters of national security “should not be politicised”.

“We request that matters of national security not be politicised keeping elections in mind,” tweeted Mr Patel late Friday night. His missive in the micro blogging site came close on the heels of Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani demanding resignation of Ahmed Patel from the Rajya Sabha.

The Chief Minister also asked Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to clarify on the matter. The developments come amidst heated political warfare between Congress and BJP for the ensuing assembly elections in the state.

The Congress spokesman Pawan Khera has dismissed the allegations saying the ruling saffron outfit is unnecessarily politicising a matter concerning national security. In another tweet, Mr Patel wrote on Friday night: “My party and I appreciate the ATS’ effort to nab the two terrorists. I demand strict and speedy action against them”.

Posted in: Nation

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