Narendra Modi alleges that Pakistan is interfering in Gujarat polls
Seeks explanation from Congress over its top members meeting leaders from Pakistan
Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday alleged Pakistan was interfering in Gujarat Assembly polls, and sought an explanation from the Congress over its top partymen who are said to have recently met leaders from the neighbouring country. Addressing a poll rally here, the prime minister also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made chief minister of Gujarat. Modi said (former Congress minister) Mani Shankar Aiyar had called him "neech" (vile) a day after the alleged meeting of Pakistani leaders with top Congressmen.
Narendra Modi also raised questions over the alleged appeal by former director general of the Pakistan Army, Sardar Arshad Rafiq, that senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel be made CM of Gujarat. Pic /PTI
"There were media reports yesterday about a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house. It was attended by Pakistan's high commissioner, Pakistan's former foreign minister, India's former vice president and former prime minister Manmohan Singh," Modi said.
The meeting at Aiyar's house carried on for almost three hours, Modi said. "The next day, Mani Shankar Aiyar said Modi was 'neech'. This is a serious matter," he said. Modi added that Rafiq had backed Ahmed Patel as the next chief minister of Gujarat. "(On one side) Pakistan Army's former DG is interfering in Gujarat's election, on the other side, Pakistan's people are holding a meeting at Mani Shankar Aiyar's house," he said.
"And, after that meeting, people of Gujarat, backward communities, poor people and Modi were insulted. Don't you think such events raise doubts," Modi asked. He said the Congress should inform the people of the country what exactly it was up to. The second phase of polling in north and central Gujarat, including the Banaskantha district, will be held on December 14.
Rahul to take over on December 16
Rahul Gandhi is likely to assume the reins of the Congress on December 16, marking a generational shift in the grand old party when his mother and its longest-serving president will formally hand over the baton to him.
Final voter turnout 66.75 per cent
The final voter turnout in the first phase of the Gujarat elections for 89 seats on Saturday stood at 66.75 per cent, the Election Commission said yesterday. The poll panel had declared an estimated 68 per cent voter turnout.
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