Thursday, May 23, 2013
Last Updated: 23 May 08:43 AM IST
30 November 2012
Press Trust of India
AHMEDABAD, 30 NOV: The Congress today fielded Mrs Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt, spicing up the contest for the Maninagar constituency where she will take on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Mrs Bhatt, flanked by her husband who had alleged complicity on the part of Mr Modi in the 2002 riots, today started a march along with her followers from Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram here and reached the district collectorate office where she filed her nomination papers before returning officer P K Jadeja.
A political novice, Mrs Bhatt will face the hard task to uproot BJP strongman Modi, who had won the 2007 Assembly election by more than 75,000 votes from Maninagar.
“It is not a fight between equals, I agree...but I am fully confident that I am going with a true heart to say the truth, so people will support me...I don't have false promises to make,” Mrs Bhatt told reporters in reply to a question on unequal contest between her and Gujarat CM.
“I have chosen to fight because they had implicated my husband in a very bad way. Me and my family were struggling to overcome it. Then I realised, it was not only my family but many other families who were struggling,” Mrs Bhatt said in reply to why she chose to fight elections.
“Democracy is being destroyed in Gujarat, democracy is not visible in the state,” she further said. “During our fight (against Modi regime) lot of people came to support us from Gujarat and outside the state,” she said. “My fight is for truth, to establish democracy, please support me,” she said.
In reply to a question on BJP's allegations of Sanjeev Bhatt being used as a pawn by the Congress party, she said, “I had decided earlier that I will contest independently (against Modi)... but now the Congress has given me an opportunity so I am fighting on their ticket,” she said.
The BJP slammed the Congress for giving a ticket to Mrs Bhatt. “Congress is exposed thoroughly today. In the last 10 years, they carried out a hate campaign...They defamed Gujarat to the hilt. And Sanjeev Bhatt became a major pawn in the hands of Congress,” BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said in New Delhi.
By fielding Mr Bhatt's wife in the Gujarat Assembly polls, Mr Javadekar said, “It is clear today which forces are working behind Sanjiv Bhatt, after his wife became a Congress candidate.”
BJP vice-president Purshottam Rupala, however, tried to downplay the candidature of Shweta saying, “There is nothing to comment on the development”.
State Congress leaders were unavailable for their comments on why they chose Mrs Bhatt to take on Mr Modi.
Sanjeev Bhatt, in an affidavit in the Supreme Court last year, had alleged complicity on the part of Mr Modi in the 2002 riots. He also deposed against Mr Modi before the Nanavati Commission, probing the riots.
Bhatt, who was the Principal, SRP Training School, was later suspended by the state government. Mr Bhatt was recently chargesheeted for murder in a custodial torture case by a court in Jamnagar district.