Questioning BJP's allegations against Patel, Chidambaram said, "If somebody joins as a technician and then he is linked to ISIS, how is some ex-trustee of the hospital responsible for all this". Patel, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress must come clean on the issue.
In 1986, when Ahmed Patel was the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee chief he had reportedly helped raise funds for the hospital and had served as one of the trustees of the hospital for some time.
Party chief spokesman Randeep Singh Surjewala said the BJP is "staring at defeat" and is, therefore, making baseless allegations against Patel, who won a hard-fought Rajya Sabha election in August.
Rupani sought Patel's resignation from the Rajya Sabha over what he termed as the latter's alleged links with two men arrested earlier this week by the state's anti-terrorist squad (ATS) for being suspected Islamic State (ISI) operatives.
As per the FIR, one of the accused, Kasim Stimberwala, used to work as a technician at Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar town of Bharuch district.
"Ahmed Patel was a trustee of the hospital and had resigned in 2015. They also don't hold any office of profit in the hospital", said Surjewala.
As the heat for Gujarat Assembly polls intensifies, the two key political forces vying for power - BJP and the Congress - have begun to play an "allegation ping-pong".
"The investigative agencies have arrested an IS suspect from a hospital in Gujarat". It's a matter of national security.
"After a few days people will used to say "Congress ka hath Atank ke sath" like they used to say earlier "Congress ka haat corruption ke sath". We have shown our anger and frustration during Amit Shah's public meeting and if the Congress fails to take a stand, we will definitely protest during Rahul Gandhi's rally". Patel went on to clarify that Ahmed Patel or any member of his hospital was not directly involved with the operations of the hospital but had only contributed towards setting up of modern health facilities for the people of the district.
Patidar stir leader Hardik Patel, who has tried to shrug off allegations of growing close links with the Congress, on Saturday issued an ultimatum to the party to clarify its position on quotas for Patels by November 3.
"My party and I appreciate the ATS's effort to nab the two terrorists. Congress has a history of favouring anti-national elements", he said.