Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel’s daughter Anar has dropped out of an art show, starting here on July 10, where she would have shared the stage with Archana Verma, the wife of IPS officer Satish Verma who led the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter probe. Archana Verma too has pulled out of the event, saying it had become “too high profile for my liking”.
As The Indian Express reported on Monday, Anar Patel was part of ‘Parakram 2014’, a three-day art show and auction featuring 54 artists apart from her. The proceeds of the auction were to go to Swayam, an NGO run by Archana Verma.
The organisers said on Monday “they are undecided about Archana Verma’s NGO Swayam and will scout for a new NGO that works with underprivileged children and their education in the city”.
Anar Patel runs Gramshree, an umbrella NGO that hosts the Craftroots series of exhibitions to promote rural artisans.
While an invite for a press conference held on Monday to announce the art show had said Anar Patel and Archana Verma would address the media, both skipped it.
Anar Patel confirmed on Monday that she had pulled out of the event. “I did check who were the sponsors and the NGO involved in the event and had expressed my reservations to the organiser. I am not going to be a part of the event anymore and have pulled out. I had communicated to the organisers of the show that I may not participate in the press conference almost two days ago and I have also taken away my painting,” she told The Indian Express.
However, Anar Patel continued to be listed as one of the ‘participating artists’ in the press release issued at the media meeting. It also contained the name of Vandana Agarwal, the No. 2 at Anar Patel’s NGO Gramshree, who is also a painter.
Anurita Rathore, the organiser and curator of the show, said, “Anar Patel has till now not communicated to me that she will not be a part of the show, and her work is still with us.”
While confirming her exit from the art show as the charity that would be the beneficiary of all the proceeds from the art auction, Archana Verma said, “I wanted to silently work for my cause but the event is becoming too high profile for my liking. I was supposed to be a part of the press conference too but I am unhappy at the turn of events and have withdrawn my association with the event as of now.”
Satish Verma was part of the Gujarat High Court-appointed SIT looking into the Ishrat case and was credited with a breakthrough in the investigations.
Among those who will exhibit their works at the show are renowned Ahmedabad-based artists such as Amit Ambalal, Natu Mistry, Vrindavan Solanki and Walter D’souza, as well as IPS officer Atul Karwal, his wife Anita Karwal (she is the chief electoral officer, Gujarat), Havmor Group CMD Pradeep Chona and his wife Rekha, restaurateur Abhay Mangaldas, author Sonal Vimal Ambani, and IT entrepreneur Ruzan Khambhatta.