Sonia Gandhi acted through Ahmed Patel to target PM Modi: BJP on Gujarat police claims in Teesta Setalvad case

"We want Sonia Gandhi to hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Modi," he said, claiming that his press conference is not an attack on Patel as he was just a medium through which Sonia Gandhi acted.

July 16, 2022 02:04 pm | Updated 02:04 pm IST - New Delhi

Sambit Patra. File

Sambit Patra. File | Photo Credit: Giri K. V. S.

The BJP on July 16 alleged that Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the "driving force" behind the "conspiracy" to implicate then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 riots case in the State.

In a press conference, party spokesperson Sambit Patra claimed that the late Ahmed Patel, who was Ms. Gandhi’s political advisor and a leading Congress leader, was just the medium through which she acted to destabilise the BJP government in the State and damage Prime Minister Modi’s political career. “Sonia Gandhi should address a press conference on this,” he demanded.

Click here to read/download the copy of Gujarat Police’s affidavit

The ruling party's attack on her came a day after the Gujarat police's Special Investigation Team (SIT) opposed arrested activist Teesta Setalvad's bail application and claimed in an affidavit before a court that she was part of a "larger conspiracy" hatched by Ahmed Patel to get the State government dismisses in after the 2002 riots.

Defending Patel, the Congress claimed earlier in the day that the charges levelled against him are part of Mr. Modi's "systematic strategy to absolve himself of any responsibility for communal carnage" unleashed when he was the Chief Minister.

"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 Opposition party alleged in a statement.

Hitting back, Mr. Patra termed the Congress' statement as mischievous and asked if the Supreme Court had also acted under "pressure" when it had slammed Setalvad and other accused for their "ulterior designs" and called for them to be put in the dock, leading to registration of a case and their arrest by the Gujarat police.

The BJP leader said the Congress appears to be keeping various kinds of denials ready and releasing them by changing dates.

"We want Sonia Gandhi to hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Modi," he said, claiming that his press conference is not an attack on Patel as he was just a medium through which Ms. Gandhi acted.

“She hatched a conspiracy to malign Gujarat and corner Mr. Modi with an aim to damage him and the BJP to promote her son Rahul Gandhi,” Mr. Patra claimed.

Citing the SIT affidavit, he claimed that Setalvad was given ₹30 lakh for personal use by Patel. "Patel only delivered the money. Sonia Gandhi gave it," he alleged.

Mr. Patra noted that Setalvad, who has been pursuing Gujarat riots cases, was given Padma Shri and also made a member of the National Advisory Council when the Congress-led UPA was in power. Sonia Gandhi was behind this as she was happy with her work, he alleged. "Patel is just a name. The driving force behind this conspiracy was Sonia Gandhi," he claimed.

The 2002 Gujarat riots cases and their statuses so far

Mr. Patra cited the Gujarat High Court’s observations that Setalvad misappropriated funds meant for riot victims for personal use, including wine and holiday resorts, to hit out at her.

The truth in the entire case has revealed itself, Mr. Patra said, adding the BJP does not work with a vengeance but with patience and believes in the constitutional process.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.