New Delhi: A day after Gujarat SIT probing charges of fabrication of evidence linked to the 2002 riots stated that the accused were part of a larger conspiracy to destabilise the then state government and Teesta Setalvad had “received Rs 5 lakh at the first instance” at the behest of Ahmed Patel, her former aide said the Congress leader assured her “funds from his own party, and from agencies across the country and overseas”.
Rais Khan Pathan, a former aide of activist Teesta Setalvad, said that after the 2002 Gujarat riots when Ahmed Patel, then Political Advisor to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, called Setalvad, he went with her.
“Following the 2002 Gujarat riots, when Ahmed Patel first called Teesta over to meet up at Circuit House, I tagged along with her. Ahmed Patel told Teesta that he was familiar with her role in the Babri Masjid riots,” Pathan said.
He said that “first Rs 5 lakh and later Rs 25 lakh were handed over” to Setalvad.
“Ahmed Patel assured funds to Teesta from his own party, and from agencies across the country and overseas. Initially, an amount of Rs 5 lakh was given to Teesta. Later, an amount of Rs 25 lakh was handed over to Teesta,” he said.
Pathan had said earlier this year in a tweet that he had left working with Setalvad due to ethical reasons.
“In my past i had worked with Teesta Setalvad, The reason i left working with her was ethics. Now same ethics are being followed by the new age fraudsters like Rashid’s & Ayub’s as they pretend to work for people but the reality is quite different,” Pathan had said in a tweet posted in February this year.
The BJP on Saturday launched a scathing attack on Congress president Sonia Gandhi over the Special Investigating Team (SIT) affidavit in the 2002 Gujarat riots case and alleged that she was the “architect of the entire conspiracy” and had attempted to “malign” the name of the state through her political advisor late Ahmed Patel.
The SIT, in its affidavit in the sessions court in Gujarat, claimed that at Ahmed Patel’s behest, Teesta Setalvad and others had plotted to destabilize the Gujarat government.
“The affidavit has brought the truth out that who were the ones who were driving these conspiracies – Ahmed Patel. Ahmed Patel is just a name, the driving force was his boss Sonia Gandhi. Through her Chief Political Advisor Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi attempted to malign Gujarat’s image. Through him, she attempted to insult Narendra Modi and she was the architect of this entire conspiracy,” BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said at a press conference here.
Slamming Setalvad whose name was mentioned in the SIT affidavit that she had numerous meetings with Patel and received Rs 5 lakh at first and Rs 25 lakh after two days, Patra said that she was doing all this with political objectives.
“The first political objective of Teesta Setalvad was to destabilize the publicly elected Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. The second objective was to frame innocent people including the then Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The affidavit says that this conspiracy was to malign the image of Gujarat,” he said.
“What Teesta Setalvad was doing, Sonia Gandhi was impressed with it and awarded her with Padma Shree in 2007. Teesta was a member of the national advisory council of Sonia Gandhi,” the BJP leader said.
Patra said that they do not want answers from Jairam Ramesh, who had issued a statement refuting the allegations of the SIT and slamming the Centre for the “mischievous” charges against late Ahmed Patel. Ahmed Patel had passed away in November 2020.
“How should the BJP government be dismissed in Gujarat, how to destabilize it, how to play politics with Gujarat riots, there is only one person behind all this, Sonia Gandhi. Today we are wanting answers from none other than Sonia Gandhi, not Jairam Ramesh. With a clear conscience, we beseech Sonia Gandhi to hold a press conference and address the nation as to why she was conspiring against Narendra Modi,” Patra said. (ANI)