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Conman Kiran Patel's arrest puts BJP in a spot

How he was given Z+ security, asks Congress

An undated photo of Kiran Patel with his security | PTI An undated photo of Kiran Patel with his security | PTI

The arrest of conman Kiran Patel in Srinagar and the way he enjoyed a Z+ security in the Union Territory have put the ruling BJP in Gujarat in a fix. Even as the issue of security breach in the sensitive Valley is expected to only intensify, it is now emerging that a large number of farmers from North Gujarat have also been cheated by Patel. 

According to sources, police have recorded the statement of these farmers. The conman, who has a verified Twitter account and had been posting his pictures with BJP leaders, has had three cheating complaints against him in the past. 

While Patel was sent to judicial custody on Friday, police searched his residences on Ghodasar and Sindhu Bhavan Road in Ahmedabad. He was arrested from a five-star hotel on the banks of the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar following information about impersonation. 

Posing as additional director (Strategy and Campaign) in the PMO, Patel had availed all the services, including visits to sensitive Uri sector, during his three outings to the Valley in the last five months. 

In New Delhi, Pawan Khera, chairman of Congress’ media and publicity communication department questioned on whose instructions the Z+ security was given to Patel. Khera said it is a sensitive issue and people would want answers. Alleging that he is part of the “toolkit”, Khera questioned as to how his movements in the Valley in the last five months went unnoticed by the BJP’s IT Cell when he has been posting photographs and thanking the prime minister. 

In Gujarat, state Congress spokesperson Manhar Patel held that the BJP has cheated the page presidents and page committee members of the electoral rolls. He questioned how the conman got access to such places. 

Patel in one of his social media posts had tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and even thanked him for the opportunity to work in the Valley. He had been also promoting sports in the Valley as if he was an ambassador. Patel had told the administration in J&K that he was sent from the PMO to look around for places for sports development and also help the locals in horticulture. 

His social media posts are flooded with his and his family’s photographs with BJP leaders including Union Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP national president J.P. Nadda. 

The BJP’s Gujarat media coordinator Yagnesh Dave was on the defensive and said the BJP in Gujarat would not like to comment on it. “We have not received the FIR,” he said. Replying to a question that Patel has been claiming to be a member of the BJP, Dave said he probably might be a primary member of the party but as of now this is still not ascertained from our side. 

Dave even said the BJP is the largest party in the world and it is not unnatural for common men to be photographed with the leaders. This, he said, does not mean that the ideologies are the same. 

In Gujarat, there have been several media professionals, artists, authors and police officers who have been following Patel. They have now started unfollowing him ever since the news of his arrest. 

Patil has been posting G20 photographs on his social media handles posing as if he was a key functionary in the programmes. 

His wife Malini Patel, when approached by a section of the press, refused to speak but claimed that his husband can’t do anything wrong. She claims herself to be a doctor. 

Interestingly, the degrees that Patel has boasted about on his social media handles will also be now under scrutiny. 

It is also emerging that but for former VHP functionary from Gujarat Dr Atul Vaidya, Patel's acts would have gone unnoticed for some more time. 

Vaidya, who met Patel last year after several years, had a doubt in mind when the latter told him that he was working in the PMO. Patel is believed to have taken Rs 25 lakh from Vaidya for some “work”. When Vaidya questioned if he really worked in the PMO, Patel said that he can take the money back if he do not trust him. 

He returned Rs 15 lakh but did not pay back the pending amount claiming that it has been given to the “Delhi party”. On enquiring, Dr Vaidya found out that the person had not received the amount. Following this he alerted the persons concerned, it is said. 

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