The nomination of Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, from Maninagar in Ahmedabad against Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi seems to have rattled him enough to charge that the Congress is conspiring to foist Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel as the chief minister of Gujarat.
Modi made this remark before filing his nomination from Maninagar in Ahmedabad seeking a third term from a constituency which has twice sent him to the Vidhan Sabha. A little while earlier, Shweta Bhatt filed her nomination as the Congress candidate, setting the stage for a poll battle between the two.
While Modi is rated as invincible in a constituency nourished and nurtured as never before since the state came to be formed, the nomination of Shweta Bhatt is expected to make him uncomfortable with her pointed assaults on the torment and targeting of her husband and the issues she is likely to raise in her campaign speeches.
Admitting that it was not a fight amongst equals Shweta said, " I have no false promises to make. I speak the truth and I speak for those who value democracy and have been victimized in the present regime. I stand for them.”
She said that she had chosen to fight anyway but the Congress opted to give her their party mandate. "I am fighting because they had implicated my husband and me and my family battled for justice for years. Then I realised, it was not only my family but many other families who were struggling," Shweta said, making it clear that it was the reason why she chose to fight the elections.
Earlier Modi who spoke to his workers before filing his nomination seemed rattled by the choice for he charged the Congress with conspiring to impose Ahmed Patel, the political advisor to AICC president as the chief minister of Gujarat.
The Gujarat chief minister who had switched to a more secular agenda with his three day sadbhavana fast in September last year in a bid to soften his Hindu Hriday Samrat label seems to have suddenly opted to back pedal in this elections. For one, the Gujarat BJP has not given a single ticket to a minority candidate and today the chief minister sought to imply that a minority community politician was sought to be imposed as the chief minister of the state if the congress comes to power.
For the first time Modi also sought to imply that the Congress had an understanding with former BJP patriarch Keshubhai Patel’s Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP). "They do not have the guts to say that they have an understanding with some other party, that they have made some arrangements behind the scene," Modi charged.
Gujarat Congress candidate for Visavadar, Ratibhai Mangroliya, had claimed that his mandate— the document that certifies the candidate officially represents the party— was allegedly "stolen" by a 12-year-old while he was on his way to file his nomination papers. Keshubhai Patel is contesting from t here.
BJP leaders termed Shweta Bhatt’s candidature as proof of the fact that the Congress had all along been backing her husband in his charges against the chief minister. ”It shows their bankruptcy,” the spokesperson said.
Sanjiv Bhatt had shot to fame after he had taken on Gujarat Chief minister by alleging that Modi had asked the police to “allow Hindus to vent their ire” in the aftermath of Sabarmati Express carnage in Godhra in February 26, 2002. Bhatt was later suspended by the state government and has recently been charge sheeted in a decades old custodial death case in Jamnagar district.
Modi on his part had won from Maninagar for the second term in 2007 by defeating Congress heavy weight Dinsha Patel with over 75000 votes.
Thank you to all those who have taken the trouble to read the article and share their thoughts. Out of the arguments made here, there are two that perhaps need answering. So here they go.
1. The first part of the article compares outcomes (relative percentages of population of the religions concerned) irrespective of the process that led to those outcomes - whether immigration, relatively faster population growth or conversions. This was for two reasons. One, to put the figure of 2.3 per cent in "numerical perspective", as the article itself explained. The second reason was that outcomes are ultimately what the crux of debate is about. The rest of the article in any case dealt with process - or conversions in this case, from both a contemporary and historical perspective.
2. Some commenters have tried to cast doubts on the reliability of Census 2001. Those who do this should bear in mind that Census 2001 was conducted by a BJP government. Considering the extreme importance that BJP gives to this issue, it would be reasonable to expect that IF it had perceived a problem with the methodology that was distorting the numbers, it would have fixed it. As the article mentioned, BJP or BJP-supported governments have been in power for 10 of the last 40 years, or about a quarter of the time, and the only reasonable conclusion one can arrive at is that any misreporting of numbers, real or perceived, would be marginal and hence, not of importance.
To all other arguments made, my answer is the following: Please read the article again, with particular focus on the quotations of Vivekananda and Monier Williams, and the history of the missionary efforts in Bengal and their outcome.
People of Gujarat and particularly Maninagar appreciate the courage of Mrs. Sweta Bhatt to file a nomination against Modi in recent elections. They also appreciate brave IPS officer Mr. Sanjeev Bhatt in tackling the issues created against him. Modi charged the Congress with conspiring to impose Ahmed Patel as CM has no importance as it seems a vague and baseless statement. Mr. Patel is in the Centre and already works as an adviser to CMs.
It is obviou that Mrs Sweta Bhat is acting as a proxy for her husband and he in turn is angling for the support of the Congress party. The IPS officer has been charged with custodial killing and by no stretch of the imagination is he fighting for human values.
What premium the corrupt political organizations put on "indiscipline" among police officers/civil servants owing loyalty to the party/politician rather than to the constitution or the conduct rules should be clear to everyone now. How communalism is espoused, patronised and funded by political parties should also be clear. Watch the hatred that is going to be spewed by such elements during the elections and unauthorised communication of official information for party interests. Corruption in India has grown because of such indiscipline among the bureaucracy. The Election Commission, Central Vigilance Commission and the Intelligence Bureau must record every single word uttered in this election and take appropriate action as deemed necessary to instil discipline in the bureaucracy so that the ranks don't imitate them and start illegally using powers not vested in them, as in the misuse of the IT Act etc.
Oh, the wishful thinking of modi haters !!
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