New Delhi: BJP`s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said he would have been "surprised" had Ahmed Patel, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi`s trusted political aide, had accepted closeness with him.
In an interview to IANS, Modi said: "I had myself said in the (Doordarshan) interview that these days Patel stays away from me. In fact I would have been surprised if he had agreed to anything that I said."
In his interview to Doordarshan, Modi had said that Patel was among the "best friends I have in Congress but not now... I had a good friendship with him and would have preferred that it had remained so... But he now runs away from me and doesn`t take my calls."
But this portion of the interview was edited out.
Patel strongly denied Modi`s claims of friendship and said he would "quit public life" if the Bharatiya Janata Party leader could prove that he had gone to his house after he became the Gujarat chief minister.
Modi, in his interview to IANS, also said that Congress leaders were attacking him just to "score brownie points with the Gandhi family".
"The kind of climate the Congress has created is not conducive to a healthy environment in politics.
"It is as if every senior leader in the Congress is under pressure to attack Modi and score brownie points with the Gandhi family," Modi told IANS.