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Gujarat Congress leaders counter Modi with parallel fast

Saturday September 17, 2011 04:57:22 PM, IANS

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Ahmedabad/New Delhi: In a bid to counter Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's fast, Congress leaders from the state are also sitting on a fast to promote "non-violence".

As Modi started his fast with much fanfare in Gujarat University, former chief minister Shankarsinh Vaghela and state Congress chief Arjun Modhvadia began their own fast in front of Mahatma Gandhi's ashram in Sabarmati.

The Congress has dubbed Modi's fast as a "5-star fast".

"We are sitting quietly on our fast in front of Gandhi-ji's ashram. It is not a cheating fast worth Rs.50 crore," Vaghela said.

"This is a common people's fast. If someone's conscience can be changed, it is good. We are promoting non-violence," he said.

Vaghela, once a BJP leader, accused Modi of cheating the people of Gujarat and asked where this amity had gone during the 2002 communal riots.

"He has written an open letter to people of Gujarat... we felt it is a cheating with people of Gujarat. If this is amity, why was not this amity generated when 2002 (riots) happened?" he said.

In New Delhi, Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi satirically noted that the BJP and Modi were free to "dream".

"Narendra Modi and BJP are having daydreams and they have all the right to dream," Alvi said.

"He (Modi) started his fast with the Ramcharitmanas... I don't know if he has read Ramcharitmanas or not, but Tulsidas has mentioned that in Ram Rajya, no one was against anyone else," Alvi said.

Modi began his three-day 'sadbhavana' (goodwill) fast Saturday by heaping praises on the state for its inclusive growth and communal harmony, and saying the day is not far when the country and the world will discuss it as a model state.






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