The Vadodara District police has launched a hunt to identify a miscreant, who allegedly hurled a slipper at Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel, missing him by a whisker, in Puroli village in Karjan taluka of the district where the BJP leader was campaigning for the November 3 Assembly bypolls.
Patel, who addressed a gathering of locals and referred to the 2002 Sabarmati train burning incident in his speech, was speaking to reporters when a slipper hit one of the television microphones, just a few centimetres away from Patel’s face, sending the security personnel into a tizzy.
Superintendent of Police, Vadodara, Sudhir Desai, said a probe is under way. “We are yet to identify the accused, who was part of the crowd,” he said.
Patel was flanked by Bharuch BJP MP Mansukh Vasava, BJP leaders Shabdasharan Brahmabhatt, Ramsinh Rathwa and Bhupendra Lakhawala, former MLA Satish Patel and party candidate Akshay Patel, who had resigned as Congress MLA and defected to the BJP ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls in June this year, when the alleged attack took place late on Monday.
In his address, Patel mentioned about the 2002 riots and referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi as “gold that has passed through fire”. “There is no state in India that has seen one party returning to power for 25 years… people of the state have entrusted this responsibility with the BJP… We all know what happened in Godhra when the innocent kar sevaks were burnt alive… including women and children… Why did they choose Gujarat when the train had left from Ayodhya and passed through other states as well… because they wanted to tarnish the image of Gujarat. They wanted to show that this is no longer Gandhi’s or Sardar’s (Patel) Gujarat.”
Stating that Narendra Modi as Chief Minister then, handled the allegations with courage, Patel said, “Modiji endured all the accusations, opposition and hardship with so much tenacity. A country like USA refused to give a visa to Modiji though he was the CM of such a progressive state like Gujarat… the Congress-led government at the Centre filed several false cases against Amitbhai (Shah) and Modi saheb… The Congress painted an image of Gujarat as a state where communal bloodbaths happen, where demons live and people are killed. They tried to strip Gujarat off its self respect but I want to thank the voters of the state for choosing the truth and be with the BJP.”
Patel added that though Akshay Patel joined BJP from Congress, “it doesn’t take much to become part of BJP”. He added, “Anyone with the spirit of nationalism and fervour for Bharat Mata can become part of the BJP.”
Leader of the Opposition Paresh Dhanani also visited Karjan to campaign for party candidate Kiritsinh Jadeja. Questioning the BJP’s intention behind “purchasing” Congress leaders, Dhanani said, “BJP plays on fear, greed and corruption and purchases Congress MLAs to capture seats. But the people of the state are wise and can see through their intention of wanting to break the integrity of the people. They will answer back on November 3 when the Congress will win all eight seats…”
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