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Out in the Open ... ?
Narendra Modi-Ahmed Patel Axis
|by Dr. Rajinder Puri|
Attention had been drawn earlier in these columns to the curious covert partnership that exists between Gujarat Chief Minister Mr. Narendra Modi and Mrs. Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary, Mr. Ahmed Patel. It was even asked whether this partnership was blessed by Mrs. Gandhi or whether she was losing grip and her close aide Mr. Patel was playing solo politics.
It was recalled earlier that Mr. Ahmed Patel got elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from his home state, Gujarat, because Mr. Modi did not put up a candidate against him. It was also recalled that when the Gujarat government desperately needed the central government to lift the ban on cotton exports it was Mr. Ahmed Patel who intervened with the cabinet to help Mr. Modi.
Most recently Ms. Aasifa Khan, spokesperson of the Congress party in Gujarat, a very close confidant of Mr. Ahmed Patel, defected from the Congress to the BJP. Curiously enough she praised Mr. Modi’s role towards the Muslims in the state and at the same time reiterated her admiration for her mentor, Mr. Ahmed Patel. Even more curiously, her defection received no public reprimand from her former mentor, Mr. Ahmed Patel. These mystifying events occurred without intervention by Mrs. Gandhi.
It is exposed through a crude maneuver played by both leaders that will not fool anybody remotely conversant with how politics is played. In his public speeches Mr. Modi is repeatedly daring the Congress to name its chief ministerial candidate and indicating at the same time that it is Mr. Ahmed Patel. Clearly, in the guise of criticizing the Congress he is giving a huge boost to Mr. Patel within the Congress party.
Mr. Modi declared:
Whether or not the Congress decided to make Mr. Patel its chief ministerial candidate Mr. Modi by his allegation has greatly enhanced Mr. Patel’s importance in public perception and within his party.
He described Mr. Modi’s remarks as a sign of dejection and frustration.
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12/18/2012 05:08 AM
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