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In poll-bound Gujarat, CM Rupani links ISIS case with Ahmed Patel, Congress says BJP frustrated

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Vijay Rupani alleged that two arrested ISIS suspects worked at a hospital where Patel, political secretary to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi was once a trustee

As the heat for Gujarat Assembly polls intensifies, the two key political forces vying for power – BJP and the Congress – have begun to play an ‘allegation ping-pong’. And with the stakes as high as they could be, considering that the state is no longer being viewed as an impregnable BJP fortress, the manner of allegations too are more specific and not purely political rhetoric in line with the infamous ‘Maut ka Saudagar’ jibe.

At a hurriedly convened press conference late on Friday evening, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani fired the first allegation salvo at the Congress, targeting party chief Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary and Rajya Sabha MP from the state, Ahmed Patel.

Rupani sought Patel’s resignation from the Rajya Sabha over what he termed as the latter’s alleged links with two men arrested earlier this week by the state’s anti-terrorist squad (ATS) for being suspected Islamic State (ISI) operatives. The Gujarat chief minister also demanded an explanation from Rahul Gandhi, the Congress key campaigner for Gujarat, and Patel over the allegations terming the case as one that involved a “matter of national security”.

Two suspected IS operatives were arrested by the Gujarat ATS two days ago. According to an FIR, one of the accused, Mohammed Kasim Stimberwala, earlier worked as a echo technician at Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar town of Bharuch in Gujarat, the home district of Ahmed Patel.

Ahmed Patel had been associated with the foundation of the hospital where on October 23, 2016, the then President Pranab Mukherjee had inaugurated the renovated Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute. In 1986, when Ahmed Patel was the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief he had reportedly helped raise funds for the hospital and had served as one of the trustees of the hospital for some time.

According to Rupani’s allegation, Patel was guilty of links with the arrested IS suspects as he was associated with the hospital where Timberwala was employed till October 24, when he was relieved of his duties. Timberwala had reportedly submitted his resignation from the job to the hospital management on October 4 on the grounds that he was moving to Jamaica where he had secured a job at a hospital to work as an echo technician. Stimberwala was arrested by the Gujarat ATS on October 25 – a day after being relieved from his job at the hospital – from Ankleshwar railway station in Bharuch district.

According to Rupani, the charges leveled by the ATS against the two arrested IS suspects –lawyer Ubaid Mirza (29) and Kasim Steamerwala (31) – the duo had planned to attack a Hindu Godman, Hindu shrines and a synagogue. “They were well-prepared with passports and visas to flee abroad,” Rupani claimed.

“This is a serious issue, as a terrorist was arrested from a hospital which is being run by Patel… It has been revealed that though Patel had resigned as a trustee of that hospital in 2014, he is still at the helm of the hospital’s affairs,” the Gujarat CM alleged. Rupani wondered “what would have happened if these two terrorists were not arrested… Patel, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress must come clean on the issue. We also want Patel to resign as Rajya Sabha MP.”

Jayesh N Patel, a trustee of the hospital has denied that “Ahmed Patel or any of his family members are connected with the hospital and the trust in any away’’. In a statement issued on Friday evening, shortly after Rupani making the allegations, the hospital trustee said that “some elements are levelling baseless allegations against the hospital”.

In a series of tweets, Ahmed Patel too denied the allegations made by Vijay Rupani, terming them “completely baseless”.[/vc_column_text][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]JTNDYmxvY2txdW90ZSUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIydHdpdHRlci10d2VldCUyMiUyMGRhdGEtbGFuZyUzRCUyMmVuJTIyJTNFJTNDcCUyMGxhbmclM0QlMjJlbiUyMiUyMGRpciUzRCUyMmx0ciUyMiUzRVdlJTIwcmVxdWVzdCUyMHRoYXQlMjBtYXR0ZXJzJTIwb2YlMjBuYXRpb25hbCUyMHNlY3VyaXR5JTIwbm90JTIwYmUlMjBwb2xpdGljaXNlZCUyMGtlZXBpbmclMjBlbGVjdGlvbnMlMjBpbiUyMG1pbmQlMjAlMjgzJTJGMyUyOSUzQyUyRnAlM0UlMjZtZGFzaCUzQiUyMEFobWVkJTIwUGF0ZWwlMjAlMjglNDBhaG1lZHBhdGVsJTI5JTIwJTNDYSUyMGhyZWYlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGYWhtZWRwYXRlbCUyRnN0YXR1cyUyRjkyMzk1NDUzNzQ0MTkxMDc4NCUzRnJlZl9zcmMlM0R0d3NyYyUyNTVFdGZ3JTIyJTNFT2N0b2JlciUyMDI3JTJDJTIwMjAxNyUzQyUyRmElM0UlM0MlMkZibG9ja3F1b3RlJTNFJTBBJTNDc2NyaXB0JTIwYXN5bmMlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjJodHRwcyUzQSUyRiUyRnBsYXRmb3JtLnR3aXR0ZXIuY29tJTJGd2lkZ2V0cy5qcyUyMiUyMGNoYXJzZXQlM0QlMjJ1dGYtOCUyMiUzRSUzQyUyRnNjcmlwdCUzRQ==[/vc_raw_html][vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html][vc_column_text]The Congress party’s in-charge of communications Randeep Singh Surjewala too rubbished the allegations made by Rupani, insisting that “a frustrated BJP facing imminent defeat in Gujarat is resorting to levelling reckless and baseless allegations against Ahmed Patel.”

Rupani’s charges against Ahmed Patel come at a time when the Congress is aggressively questioning the BJP to come clean on allegations that Jay Shah, son of the saffron party’s national president Amit Shah, had made windfall gains in his wealth ever since Narendra Modi steered his party to victory in the 2014 general elections. The Congress has turned the meteoric rise in Jay Shah’s wealth into an electoral issue in Gujarat – the home state of both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah – which goes to polls in two phases, first on December 9 and then on December 14.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

India News

Swati Maliwal reacts to viral video, refers accused as political hitman

The Rajya Sabha MP added that the political hitman is getting his people to tweet and play videos without any context.

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Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Rajya Sabha MP Swati Maliwal has reacted to the viral video, allegedly shot at Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence. The video shows the Rajya Sabha MP in a heated confrontation with the staff. 

Reacting to the viral video on X, formerly Twitter, Swati Maliwal said that like every time, this political hitman has started efforts to save himself.  She was apparently referring to Bibhav Kumar, whom she accused of assaulting her. 

The Rajya Sabha MP added that the political hitman is getting his people to tweet and play videos without any context. She added that the truth will be revealed to everyone as soon as the CCTV footage of the house and the room is checked.

She concluded that he may fall to whatever level he can, but God is watching everything, and one day everyone’s truth will come out in front of the world. Earlier, Swati Maliwal has alleged that she was assaulted by the Chief Minister’s personal assistant, Bibhav Kumar, when she sought time to meet the Chief Minister that day. 

In the viral video, shared across the social media platforms, Swati Maliwal can be seen engaged in a heated exchange with staff members who are requesting her to exit the drawing room. 

In the footage, Bibhav Kumar, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former PA implicated in the assault allegations, is seen present in the room while other staff are speaking with Swati Maliwal. Additionally, MP Swati Maliwal is also heard issuing a threat to one of the staff members, vowing to ensure their job termination. However, the authenticity of the video remains unverified.

In the formal complaint lodged with the Delhi Police, Swati Maliwal detailed a disturbing sequence of events, alleging that Bibhav Kumar subjected her to multiple instances of physical violence. Maliwal alleged that Bibhav Kumar repeatedly slapped her at least seven to eight times while she continued to cry. She also said that she was dragged and kicked in the chest, stomach, and pelvis area.

The complaint stated that when she entered the office and attempted to reach the Chief Minister’s PA, Bibhav Kumar, she was unable to find him. She then entered the residence and was told to wait in the drawing room, when Bibhav Kumar suddenly entered, shouting and abusing her. The alleged assault took place on May 13, when she visited the Civil Lines residence of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. 

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India News

ED names Arvind Kejriwal, AAP as accused in Delhi excise policy case

Arvind Kejriwal was taken into custody on March 21. The Supreme Court last Friday granted him interim bail.

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Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been named toady as a prime accused by the Enforcement Directorate in a new supplemental chargesheet in the money laundering case pertaining to the now-scrapped Delhi liquor excise policy 2021–2022.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has been identified as an accused in the case by the central inquiry agency.

In the excise policy case, the ED informed the Supreme Court that it had found conversations between Arvind Kejriwal and hawala operators about the purported profits of crime.

The organization said that since Kejriwal declined to provide the password to his devices, the chats were retrieved from the hawala operators’devices.

Kejriwal filed a plea contesting the legality of his arrest by the EnforcementDirectorate, and the top court has reserved its decision. It allowed the Delhi Chief Minister to petition the trial court for bail without compromising his legal rights and appeals before the Supreme Court.

The CM filed a plea contesting the legality of his arrest by the EnforcementDirectorate, and the top court has reserved its decision. It allowed the Delhi Chief Minister to petition the trial court for bail without compromising his legal rights and appeals before the Supreme Court.

After the Delhi CM ignored nine summonses from the ED, he was taken into custody on March 21. The Supreme Court last Friday granted him interim bail. Last month, bail was granted for Sanjay Singh, his party colleague. Two other leaders of the party, Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, remain incarcerated.

On August 22, 2022, the ED filed a money laundering case in response to a CBI FIR that had been filed on August 17, 2022, in order to investigate suspected anomalies in the DelhiExcise policy of 2021–2022.

Following Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena’s recommendation for an investigation into purported irregularities in the formulation and execution of the liquor policy, the CBI had filed a FIR.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Rahul Gandhi says Congress will give 10kg free ration if elected to power

He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act.

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Ahead of the fifth phase of the Lok Sabha election, Senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the Congress will provide 10 Kg free ration to the poor families if elected to power. He added that 10 Kg ration along with Rs 8500 per month will promote education and self-employment among millions in the country.

Taking to social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Rahul Gandhi said that Congress has taken another big decision for the poor families of the country. He promised that his party will give 10 Kg free ration, instead of 5Kg. He also recalled that during the UPA government, the Congress has given legal status to the right to food through the Food Security Act. and that 10 Kg free ration will be the next step in the direction.

Accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of running a government of Adani, and making 20-25 billionaires, the senior Congress leader said that Congress will make crores of millionaires and run the government of Indians. Earlier, Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge also promised to provide 10Kg free ration if voted to power.

Meanwhile, Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi on Thursday slammed BJP’s 5Kg ration policy at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting. She said that 5Kg ration will not make one self-reliant, but employment will. She explained the electorates need to understand that political parties whose ideologies make people dependent is not right. She concluded that voters will choose employment over 5Kg ration that BJP promises.

Along with 10Kg free ration, Congress has also promised to start recuitment process for 30 lakh government post by August 15. The Party also vowed to provide the youth their first job of Rs 1 lakh per year. It also guranteed better working conditions, pensions and social security for the work force of the gig economy.

Furthermore, the Congress also promised start-up funds for young entrepreneurs at district levels from the national funds of Rs 5000 crore. The party also pledged to give National minimum wage of Rs400 per day, including all MGNREGS workers, and stop contractualisation of employment in core government functions.

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