Unnecessary speculation over Afzal's fate laid to rest: Patel
Gondia: With the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru early Saturday, unnecessary speculations over his fate were finally laid to rest, senior NCP leader and Union Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel said here.
"There has been some delay but the government is bound to follow the law strictly and complete all the formalities before hanging," Patel told a group of reporters from Nagpur here today.
"The President rejected his mercy plea, which paved the way for his execution today. With this, unnecessary speculations over his fate were finally laid to rest," Patel said, adding that sentiments running high in the case could be one of the reasons for the delay.
On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's luncheon meeting with envoys and representatives of several European Union (EU) member countries, hosted by German Ambassador Michael Steiner, Patel said there was nothing new as they keep on talking to chief ministers.
"They were not talking to Modi all these days and now probably felt like talking to him. The discussion should be state-specific and not individual-specific. On Gujarat riots, Modi will have to deal separately," Patel said.
Patel said after the recent Gujarat elections, Modi was being projected as the prime ministerial candidate. "But it all depends how thing unfold before the general elections in 2014," he said.
Referring to Modi's recent address to students in the national capital, Patel said, "A few speeches in some colleges won't make a big change and what Modi is boasting of about Gujarat's development was not the correct picture.
"Many things and projects, including Mundra (port), Narmada dam, the Milk revolution, were launched much before Modi came to power. Modi might have just accelerated the speed (of development)," he said.
When asked about the Congress-NCP tie-up in Maharashtra, Patel said, "It's a historic alliance and I don't see any possibility of change during the forthcoming 2014 elections. This is the best possible alliance without compromising any ideological issues."