Ahmed Patelís pick dumps Cong for BJP
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In what could boost Chief Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to shed his anti-Muslim image, former state Congress spokeswoman Asifa Khan, a journalist handpicked by Sonia Gandhi's political adviser Ahmed Patel before the 2009 polls, joined the BJP Saturday.
Khan said Muslims have to move on by "burying the 2002 communal riots". "I am as pained as any victim of 2002 riots but the community has to move on. Riot victims are getting justice from the judiciary," she said. "You know that many riots took place before 2002 also in Gujarat."
Khan said though she was "grateful" to Ahmed Patel for bringing her into politics, she stood firm on working for the BJP. She claimed she was impressed by Modi's Sadbhavna Mission, which, she said, was never attempted by any other chief minister in the past.
Khan said she had no problem as such with the Congress but decided to switch as the BJP was "working towards bringing in prosperity".
"Her coming to the party proves BJP is gaining support from all communities ahead of elections," BJP MP and spokesman Vijay Rupani said.
However, he was silent when asked whether the BJP would field Muslims in the forthcoming Assembly polls. So far under Modi, no Muslims have been given tickets by the BJP.
With PTI inputs
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