Modi dares Congress to declare Ahmed Patel Gujarat chief ministerial candidate

Last Updated: Sun, Dec 02, 2012 14:50 hrs

Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday dared the opposition Congress Party to declare its chief ministerial candidate.

Addressing a rally in Rajpipla, central Gujarat, Modi said the Congress should come out in the open on whether they want its general secretary Ahmed Patel to be its chief ministerial candidate.

Modi had earlier raised the same question during a campaign in his own constituency of Maninagar.

"The Congress and its allies have already decided to make Ahmed Patel their chief ministerial candidate. In all likelihood a big deal has also been struck in order to do so. Plans are in place to field Ahmed Patel but the Congress does not have the courage to declare this in public," Modi said today.

Reacting to Modi's challenge, Patel said the Gujarat Chief Minister was talking like a "dejected and frustrated" person.

"I was never a contender for the post of CM, and will never be. I have always remained away from power politics," Patel said in a statement released by the Congress in Ahmedabad.

"As the Assembly elections were drawing near, those who had cheated and misguided people of the state were now feeling that sand was fast slipping from beneath their feet and that's why they were making such baseless comments," the statement added.

Gujarat goes to polls later this month. Voting will be held in two phases on December 13 and 17 and results will be declared on December 20.

Modi is contesting from the Maninagar seat in Ahmedabad and faces suspended top police officer Sanjiv Bhatt's wife Shweta Bhatt of the Congress.

Modi has won from the seat since 2002. (ANI)

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