New Delhi: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday clean bowled his opponents by roping in cricketer Irfan Pathan for an election rally in Kheda.

Modi, who is seeking third successive mandate this month, has been accused by activists and political rivals of being biased against minorities. Gujarat saw its worst communal riots in 2002 in which over 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed.

No Muslim candidate has been given ticket by the BJP in this assembly election. Gujarat Legislative Assembly comprises 182 seats.

Modi was campaigning in Kheda for the second phase of polling slated for December 17. The first phase of polling will take place on December 13. Counting of votes will be done on December 20.

Currently, Pathan plays for Vadodara in the Ranji Trophy and is out of field due to an injury.

Cong takes a dig at Modi

Taking a dig at the presence of cricketer Irfan Pathan in a BJP election rally in Gujarat, External Affairs minister Salman Khurshid said Chief Minister Narendra Modi appeared to be worried as he was seemingly pulling live or dead rabbits out of the hat.

"As an observer of the election process, I am a little bit surprised that he (Modi) is having to pull out rabbits, seemingly so many live or dead rabbits out of the hat. Looks like a worried person," he said.

Khurshid also said that he had not been able to visit Gujarat because of a series of visits.

(JPN/Agencies)

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