A day after the BJP’s Bhopal Lok Sabha seat candidate Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case, claimed that former Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare died in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks as she had “cursed” him, senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel Saturday hit out at the party’s “double standards” for talking about fighting terrorism and then giving tickets to those who are criticizing martyrs.
The remarks caused a furor, forcing the BJP to distance itself from them, and compelled Thakur to issue an apology on Friday evening. Slamming the BJP on the Thakur episode in Rajkot, Patel said, “The BJP has given tickets to such people. What message do you want to convey? On one side, the BJP talks about fighting terrorism. And those who are actually fighting terrorism are being criticized by the BJP candidates. Why these double standards? There is a huge difference between what the BJP preaches and what it actually does.”
On the other hand, while addressing Vijay Vishwas Sammelan in support of Punjabhai Vansh, the party candidate for Junagadh Lok Sabha seat in Una town of Gir Somnath district, on Saturday, the Rajya Sabha MP from Gujarat said Prime Minister Narendra Modi calls him a friend, but “it is a one-sided love affair,” as the latter has never invited him even on tea.
“Around six months after he (Modi) came to Delhi, journalists there told me that I must be knowing him well. I told them that was indeed the case. He had dined at my place once, but he has neither ever offered me a cup of tea, nor do I expect such a gesture from him given the fact that he has not even obliged Lal Krishan Advani and what he has done to his gurus like Murali Manohar Joshi,” Patel said.
Patel, who hails from Bharuch, claimed that the BJP, led by Modi and national president Amit Shah, was humiliating Advani and Joshi. “A few days ago, I was with Murali Manohar Joshi for about an hour. He just stopped short of crying, saying he had never thought that the matters would come to such a pass,” said the Congress leader who had served as the political secretary of Sonia Gandhi when she was the party president.
Incidentally, the ruling party has not fielded its senior leaders like Advani and Joshi this Lok Sabha election. Patel alleged even as Modi tom-tommed Gujarat model, the state was actually in ruins when the BJP leader left it for Delhi in 2017. “Narendra Modi misled people in the name of Gujarat model. They (BJP) have done nothing, but corruption, giving false promises and making speeches,” said the leader.