Gujarat polls: Sanjiv Bhatt's wife to take on Modi
Shweta Bhatt, wife of suspended Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, Friday said she would contest the assembly elections in December from Maninagar here against Chief Minister Narendra Modi on a Congress ticket.
"Everything has been subverted in Gujarat, including democratic institutions. Law and order too is being subverted. I plan to go to the electorate to the 'aam aadmi' and raise all these issues among them," Shweta told IANS.
When asked why she had chosen the Congress instead of the Gujarat Parivartan Party (GPP) headed by rebel BJP leader Keshubhai Patel, Shweta said: "All parties who want the restoration of democracy in Gujarat are supporting me. I plan to appeal to Keshubhai to support me and my candidature."
Sanjiv was suspended Aug 8, 2011, after he accused Modi of asking police to go slow on Hindus during the 2002 Gujarat riots in which 1,200 people were killed.
He told IANS: "She has supported me in all my decisions. Now it is my turn."
When asked as to whose idea it was to make Shweta contest, Sanjiv said: "She expressed a desire to contest the polls against Modi. Our family decided to support her decision."
"The Congress is the party whose ideals are the closest to those on which this nation was founded. So, Shweta decided to contest on a Congress ticket," Bhatt told IANS.
"There is no particular reason in making her contest from Maninagar. Please do not read in between the lines," Amee Yagnik, Gujarat Congress spokesperson told IANS.
Meanwhile, the BJP slammed the Congress' decision to field Shweta. "We always knew there was some sort of connection between the Congress and Sanjiv Bhatt. And today, we have been vindicated," BJP leader Balbir Punj told reporters in New Delhi.
Sanjiv had told the Supreme Court in an affidavit in March 2011 that Modi had allowed "communal riots in Gujarat as he wanted Hindus to vent out their anger against the minority community following killings of kar sevaks in the Sabarmati Express near Godhra railway station" in 2002.
Sanjiv's testimony before the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI director R.K. Raghavan had given direct evidence implicating Modi.
However, the SIT -- which had been appointed in March 2008 -- had overlooked it questioning the authenticity of the evidences and Sanjiv's credibility.
Sanjiv was arrested by Gujarat police Sept 30, 2011, for "trying to create evidence against Modi".
Friday was the last day of filing of nomination papers for the second phase of polls.
Modi also filed his nomination papers from Maninagar at 12.39 p.m., considered to be auspicious.