Gujarat elections: Congress accuses BJP of horse trading
The Congress has demanded lodging of an FIR after Patidar leader Hardik Patel alleged that he was offered Rs1,200 crore by a Gujarat govt official when he was in jail
New Delhi: The Congress on Thursday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of “shamelessly” indulging in horse trading ahead of Gujarat elections and demanded lodging of an FIR after Patidar leader Hardik Patel alleged that he was offered Rs1,200 crore.
The Congress claimed that this was not the sole example of the BJP allegedly resorting to misuse of money and muscle power. Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi recalled the allegations made by Narendra Patel, aide of Hardik Patel, that he was offered Rs1 crore for switching loyalties, a charge rubbished by the ruling party. Singhvi demanded lodging of an FIR against BJP leaders, including the saffron party’s chief Amit Shah, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani and others. He also urged the Election Commission to probe into the allegations and publish the findings of bribery cases.
Singhvi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should speak up and asked him to implement his anti-corruption slogan of “na khaoonga, na khane doonga” completely and “not selectively”.
The Congress leader alleged that the BJP was indulging in such activities sensing its imminent defeat in Gujarat which it has ruled for 22 years.
According to media reports, Hardik Patel, while addressing reporters on Wednesday, said “I’m not bikau (up for sale). Otherwise, I could have accepted an offer of Rs1,200 crore from a top government official when I was in jail.”
The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader, who spearheaded the community’s agitation for Patel quota, was in jail for nine months, beginning October 2015. Latching onto his allegation, Singhvi alleged, “The BJP is shamelessly indulging in alleged acts of bribery, horse trading, misuse of money and muscle power, coercion and threats.”
“We reiterate our demand for registering FIR in the one-month-old case. We ask registration of FIR in the Rs1,200 crore complaint made last night with specific names and details,” he added. Singhvi asked whether the income tax department took any action against the Gujarat BJP leaders for this “brazen display of money and power”.
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