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Updated: September 17, 2011 17:35 IST

Cong. leaders fast to counter Modi

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Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela on Saturday started a fast to counter Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. File photo
The Hindu
Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela on Saturday started a fast to counter Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. File photo

Gujarat Congress leaders Shankarsinh Vaghela and Arjun Modhvadia on Saturday began their fast as a counter to Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s three-day fast.

The Congress leaders launched their fast an hour before Mr. Modi’s fast which began at around 10 a.m.

The Congress has dubbed Mr. Modi’s fast as “five star” as it being held in an air-conditioned hall. Mr. Vaghela and Mr. Modhvadia are sitting on a footpath in front of Sabarmati Ashram, the Opposition leaders pointed out.

“In today’s administration, where five and seven star culture is being used as a weapon for image building in self interest, I want to ask through you people (media), what was the necessity to go on a fast. Have heavens fallen on the public of Gujarat?” he said while talking to reporters.

“What was the necessity to spend several crores of public money. If he wanted to fast, he (Modi) could have done that at home also. As Chief Minister there was no necessity to do such a ‘tamasha’ (public show off).

“It is a corrupt Government, a Government which has been running away from Lokayukta, and we want to show this to the people of country,” the former Chief Minister said.

“There are allegations of corruption against the Government. The state public debt has mounted to Rs. 1.30-lakh crore, about which the people of Gujarat are not aware. This is the kind of development we are talking about,” Mr. Vaghela said.

The Chief Minister announced his fast after a Supreme Court order, which he interpreted as a clean chit to him in a post-Godhra riots case, Mr. Vaghela said.

“Now, he wants to project himself as a messiah of the minorities by undertaking such a fast and wants to show that he is their protector.”

“If there is a justifiable cause for fast by the Chief Minister, we can understand it. He is saying this fast is for sadbhavna (harmony), but his fast is based on farce, falsehood and corruption,” Mr. Vaghela claimed.

Mr. Modi started his 72-hour fast in the Convention Hall of Gujarat University.

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