Modi alleges foul play after fire near rally


Surat : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has alleged foul play after a fire broke out near the venue of his rally in this south Gujarat city.

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Soon after Modi ended his speech at the meet Sunday night, organised by the Nagrik Abhivadan Samiti, a group of business people from the Patel community, the fire broke out in the parking stand and 37 two-wheelers were gutted.

Talking to reporters after the incident, Modi described the incident as “foul play”, adding that in a democracy resorting to violence was totally “condemnable”.

Fire fighters rushed to the spot and doused the blaze. No one was hurt in the incident. However, the reason behind the fire was not yet known, police said.

Police have taken cognisance of the incident and are investigating, city police commissioner R.M.S. Brar told IANS Monday.

He added that no one had been arrested so far.

While Modi was in Surat, his predecessor and veteran Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Keshubhai Patel turned up in Ahmedabad at a Ramlila function, which felicitated suspended BJP rebel legislator Gordhan Zadafia.

Patel described Zadaphia, former home minister and now most vocal critic of Modi, as a “fighter” and the “future leader of Gujarat”.

Political observers here interpreted his remarks as a show of solidarity with five BJP rebels who were holding discussions with the opposition Congress for forging an alliance ahead of the December assembly polls.