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Why does Pakistan want to make Ahmed Patel Gujarat CM, asks Modi

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 27, 2018 Published on December 10, 2017

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses an election campaign rally in Sanand on Sunday.   -  PTI

He said former Pakistani Army’s Director-General Arshad Rafique supporting Ahmed Patel as Gujarat Chief Minister is a “matter of concern.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Sunday, said a Pakistani Army official has supported Rajya Sabha MP Ahmed Patel as the Gujarat Chief Minister. “Does Pakistan want to make Ahmed Patel Gujarat CM?”, he asked.

Addressing election meetings at Palanpur, Banaskantha district, that borders Pakistan, and then at Sanand in Ahmedabad district, he referred to some media reports stating that former Pakistani Army’s Director-General Arshad Rafique had appealed to make Patel as Gujarat CM.

Modi said that a three-hour-long meeting was held at former diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar’s residence in which “former Indian Vice-President (Hamid) Ansari Saheb, ex-PM Dr Manmohan Singh, the Pakistani High Commissioner to India and an ex-Pakistani Foreign Minister were present. The next day, Aiyar called me neech aadmi.”

Asking the Congress to explain what “transpired at the secret meeting”, the PM said there could be something fishy about it - daal mein kaala hai ya nahin? “Why did you hold a closed-door meeting just before Gujarat polls? If it was so important, why did not you invite Indian officials also to attend it. Or reported it back to the Government of India. You must explain it.”

He said Arshad Rafique supporting Ahmed Patel as Gujarat Chief Minister is a “matter of concern.” “It’s a matter of India’s sovereignty and self-respect.”

Last week, posters had mysteriously appeared in Surat, appealing the people to make Ahmed Patel the state’s Wazir-e-Alam, which were later removed. The posters had the pictures of Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi and Ahmed Patel. Patel had denied having ever been interested in Gujarat Chief Ministership. Interestingly, the Urdu word Wazir-e-Ala (not Wazir-a-Alam) is used for a Chief Minister; the word Wazir-a-Azam is translated as the Prime Minister!

Also, unclaimed posters emerged late on Saturday on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway in Ahmedabad, near the Gujarat BJP’s media centre, condemning J&K activist Salman Nizami with a slogan “ Afzal ka yaar, Desh ka Gaddar” (A friend of Afzal (Guru) is a traitor of the country).

After Modi raked up the issue that the J&K “separatist” Salman Nizami, an alleged supporter of hanged militant Afzal Guru and critic of Indian Army, was campaigning for the Congress in Gujarat, party spokesman Rajeev Shukla, had, on Saturday, denied that the activist was a Congressman.

Published on December 10, 2017
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