Sonia Gandhi, Cong 'driving force' behind Teesta Setalvad's campaign against Modi: BJP
New Delhi, Jun 25: The BJP on Saturday launched a scathing attack on congress interim president Sonia Gandhi accusing her of the "driving force" behind activist Teesta Setalvad's campaign against then chief minister Narendra Modi over the 2002 Gujarat riots.
It comes a day after a three-judge bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar, upheld the Special Investigation Team or SIT's 2012 clean chit to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Gujarat riots case, and said that Setalvad, co-petitioner in the case, exploited the emotions of Zakia Jafri.
Teesta Setalvad was on Saturday detained by the Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) from Mumbai and taken to Ahmedabad in connection with an FIR registered against her at the Ahmedabad city crime branch.
At a press conference, BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra said that the Supreme Court had named Setalvad while blasting those responsible for keeping the "pot boiling" for their ulterior designs on the riots. The court had said that all those involved in the abuse of process need to be in the dock, he said.
She has also been accused of misuse and misappropriation of the money collected for riot victims and using them for personal pleasure and comfort, he said. The BJP spokesperson said the Congress-led UPA government, especially its education ministry, had given Rs 1.4 crore to an NGO run by Setalvad, and this money was used to run campaign against Modi and also to "defame" India.
"She was not alone. Who was the driving force? Sonia Gandhi and the Congress party," he said. Setalvad was also a member of the National Advisory Council, headed by Sonia Gandhi, he noted. "Was the kind of lies and corruption she was responsible for possible without the government's support?" he asked.
While Setalvad spewed "venom" against Modi, he never lost patience and faced the judicial process without asking people to protest in his support, Patra said in a swipe at the Congress which has been rallying its supporters against the questioning of its leader Rahul Gandhi by the Enforcement Directorate. "It is time for the opposition to face the truth," said Patra. PTI
In its order on Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition challenging the clean chit given by the SIT to then Gujarat chief minister Modi and others in the 2002 post-Godhra riots cases. Setalvad's NGO had supported Zakia Jafri, who had filed the petition alleging a larger conspiracy behind the riots, throughout her legal battle.
Jafri's husband and former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri was killed during the riots. The SC had spoken about devious stratagem to keep the "pot boiling" for ulterior design. It had also said that disgruntled officers of the Gujarat government need to be in the dock and proceeded with in accordance with law for creating a sensation by making false revelations. Patra cited records to say that Setalvad and her NGOs were allegedly behind producing some rather gruesome details, which later turned out to be incorrect, about what happened to some victims of the riots. PTI