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18-month-old boy has Modi worried

CNN-IBN
Jun 22, 2007 at 12:26am IST

Ahmedabad: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is one of India's most formidable politicians. But an 18-month-old child is posing threat to Gujarat's iron man.

Pranshu Shiroya, the one-and-a-half-year-old son of a Surat diamond merchant, was kidnapped from Surat on the weekend.

Police have issued a sketch of the suspect kidnapper but as Shiroya's anxious family and the police are still waiting for a ransom call.

KIDNAPPED: Pranshu Shiroya went missing from his Surat residence on the weekend.

But the kidnapping has now taken a political turn and angry members of the powerful Patidar community have issued a warning to the state administration: find the boy or lose our support in this election year in the state.

Meanwhile, local BJP MLA Dhirubhai Gajera is threatening the Patidar community will come out on the streets if Modi doesn't do anything to release him within a day.

"Only Modi is safe in Gujarat, nobody else. I would not be more happier, if action was taken against me by the party," he said.

Shiroya's kidnapping is not the only law and order issue that's holding Modi to ransom.

Earlier, the twin murder and rape case in Junagadh of a young girl from Koli community had the powerful Koli Patels agitating against him.

This even led to the resignation of a key minister. After the Kolis it's now the Patedars and there are rumours that BJP leader Keshubhai Patil has been encouraging them to dissent against Modi.

"We are self disciplined people. I do not think that working for Patidar unity amounts to indiscipline," said BJP leader Gordhan Zadaphia.

As his government scrambles to deal with the latest crisis, Modi will be hard put to end the disquiet within his own ranks in a election year.

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