The BJP on Saturday sought clarification from Congress President Sonia Gandhi over alleged links of her Political Secretary Ahmed Patel to a suspected terrorist arrested in poll-bound Gujarat, saying if the party doesn't come clean over the issue it will be linked to terrorism by people.
"The investigative agencies have arrested an IS suspect from a hospital in Gujarat. Ahmed Patel is associated with the hospital. Congress will have to answer. It cannot run away," Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said at a press conference.
He said that the Congress President and Vice President Rahul Gandhi needs to come forward and clarify on the matter.
"Terror suspect's link to hospital is a serious issue. It's a matter of national security. We want Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi to give clarification," he said.
The Minority Affairs Minister said that the NDA government has adopted a zero tolerance policy against terrorism and hit out at Congress leadership for defending Patel.
"After few days people will used to say 'Congress ka hath Atank ke sath' like they used to say earlier 'Congress ka haat corruption ke sath'. People are questioning Ahmed Patel's link to IS operatives. Congress has a history of favouring anti-national elements," he said.
Referring to Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala, one of the two alleged IS operatives arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad from Surat on Wednesday, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had demanded resignation of Patel from the Rajya Sabha.
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.
The ATS, which picked up Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza, claimed that they were planning to attack a Jewish synagogue in Khadia area of Ahmedabad and had even carried out reconnaissance of their target.