Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Friday night demanded resignation of Congress veteran Ahmed Patel from the Rajya Sabha alleging his possible links to a suspected terrorist arrested earlier in the week from his home district of Bharuch. Ahmed Patel rubbished the charge.
Rupani, who also sought Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi's clarification on the matter, was referring to Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged IS operatives arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Surat on Wednesday.
Stimberwala had resigned recently as an eco-cardiogram technician in the Sardar Patel Hospital and Heart Institute in Ankleshwar, which Patel had helped grow into a modern facility.
Patel was one of the trustees during the hospital's formative years as a modern hospital and the only one in the entire Bharuch district with latest equipment and technology with facilities for heart surgery. He had resigned as a trustee in 2014 facilitating a new board of trustees to take over the facility.
Rupani told reporters at the 9.30 p.m. press conference, which was delayed by more than three hours, that Stimberwala, caught by Intelligence Bureau and security agencies, was working at a Bharuch hospital where Patel had been a trustee and though resigning after UPA lost power, "still oversees in the working of the hospital".
Rupani claimed that the "arrest of a person working in a hospital where Ahmed Patel was a patron gave rise to several questions as how did a terrorist get a job in a hospital having close links with Ahmed Patel? Who got him the job? Whether he was aware of their activities?"