The forthcoming elections to six municipal corporations in Gujarat will be a test for Chief Minister Narendra Modi after the arrest of his trusted aide Amit Shah in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter case.
The six municipal corporations, which comprise major urban areas of the state like Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot, Bhavnagar and Jamnagar are going to polls after October this year.
Modi, who has earlier managed to convert such adversities in electoral gains, had after the arrest of Shah said that Congress has accepted defeat in the coming municipal corporations' polls and will have to field CBI officials as candidates for the local bodies poll.
"People of Gujarat know that the charges against Amitbhai Shah are fabricated on the behest of Congress which is using CBI as a tool to settle political scores," BJP party general secretary and MP Vijay Rupani said.
"This is an attempt by the Congress to win minority vote bank which will boomerang on it," he said, adding the party is ready for the elections in municipal corporations.
The Congress is, however, of the opinion that the BJP government has been exposed with the arrest of Shah by CBI.
"Though local issues stand prominent in the municipal corporation polls, the BJP government, led by Modi, is exposed after the arrests of Shah," Congress leader Arjun Modhvadia said.
"Till now this government used to say that it is a clean government and used to brag of its Hindutva credentials. But now it has been exposed that they used to run extortion racket using criminals and they did not hesitate to kill Prajapati in a fake encounter who was a Hindu," Modhvadia alleged.
"Not only the people of Gujarat but BJP party worker are also miffed at the exposure of CBI," he claimed.
CBI has arrested Shah and charged him with murder, extortion and kidnapping in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh fake encounter and disappearance of his wife Kausar Bi.
Before the high-pitched Gujarat assembly elections in 2007, Congress President Sonia Gandhi had raised Soharabuddin Sheikh issue by indirectly calling Modi 'maut ka saudagar'.
Modi had used this statement of Gandhi for his political advantage by saying that this was against the Gujarati pride and had comfortably won the elections.