Gujarat bribery row: Congress seeks court-monitored probe

Gujarat Pradesh Congress committee president Bharatsinh Solanki at a press conference on Saturday
Gujarat Pradesh Congress committee president Bharatsinh Solanki at a press conference on Saturday
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24 October, 2017

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday demanded a Supreme Court-monitored probe following allegations that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) offered ₹1 crore to a Patidar leader in Gujarat to switch loyalties.

The bribery allegations were "very serious" and Narendra Patel had accused Gujarat BJP President Jitubhai Vaghani as being the culprit, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.

Narendra Patel, a leader of the Hardik Patel-led Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), had levelled the charge, which has been rubbished by the BJP. He has denied the allegation.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Narendra Patel produced Rs 10 lakh before the media, which he claimed was paid to him by the BJP. "The Congress can not sway Gujarat's people with this kind of drama".

Invoking the KHAM theory propounded by former Congress government in Gujarat, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel today alleged that the opposition party has once again taken that path to create a rift between various communities to gain power. "I had joined the party because BJP-led Gujarat party had taken some good decisions".

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Meanwhile, Congress is strengthening its relations with other leaders, the nervous BJP denied the allegations of offering a bribe to the Patidar leader.

Rahul Gandhi, who is campaigning in Gujarat today, borrowed from the BJP's toolkit today by expanding GST, the acronym for the national sales tax, into "Gabbar Singh Tax", christening it after one of India's biggest fictional villains. "We have asked for an inquiry into the matter", Pandya said. "I might have differences with Hardik Patel but our ultimate goal is same", said Sawani.

He said: "Modi has unleashed the most direct attack on federalism by threatening the Gujarat people if they don't vote for the BJP". The close aide of Hardik Patel then congratulated Narendra Patel.

Nikhil said that he might have had some differences with Hardik Patel, but both of their stands was for the same cause and that is reserved for the Patidars.

These changing political equations in Gujarat can be a major matter of concern for the BJP as the OBC leader has already extended its support to Congress and if the Patidars also join the party, the battle is nearly won by Congress this time.


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