Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s fast on Friday drew sharp reactions from some political parties with the Congress saying fasts do not lessen his “crimes” and the Samajwadi Party attributing it to “power struggle” within the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Janata Dal (United), the BJP’s National Democratic Alliance partner, meanwhile, raised questions over the publicity surrounding the fast.

“Modi is feeling the need to fast, which means he has realised his involvement in crimes in Gujarat but the fast cannot change anyone’s character. Fast does not lessen Modi’s crimes,” Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi said.

SP general secretary Mohan Singh said Mr. Modi has “no moral right” to fast as he has not followed Rajdharma and still lots of women were running from pillar to post for justice including the wife of former Home Minister Haren Pandya.

He claimed the fast is aimed at foiling L.K. Advani’s attempt to bring himself to the forefront as the BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate.

“The fast was reflective of the power struggle in the BJP with Modi wanting to grab the centre stage at a time when Advani is re-asserting himself,” the SP leader said.

JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav dismissed the publicity surrounding the fast.

“Seventy to 80 per cent of people make a living at Rs. 20 a day. 80 per cent people fast daily. A majority of the people in the country fast regularly… Nobody talks about them but fasts by individuals are discussed,” Mr. Yadav said.

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