'Fast' politics - Cong set to steal the thunder from Modi

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Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, Sept 15: With Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on a moral high after the US Congressional Research Service report lauded him for his achievements and the growth story he accomplished in the state, there are efforts to steal the limelight he managed to pull towards him. Modi had announced a token three-day fast for the peace and development of the state, and now state Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela has announced a parallel fast.

Sources in the Gujarat Congress has been quoted as saying, "Shankarsinh Vaghela will lead and other Congress leaders will also join him in the fast against Modi. It will start from September 17 at Sabarmati Ashram."

With the politics of fasting playing out in public, the Congress representatives have claimed that they will fast "two hours longer" than Modi. With the Congress trying to regain some of the dent in their image, fasting seem to be the only option to redeem themselves.

Announcing his fast, Modi had said that this would be part of his Sadbhavna (goodwill) Mission'.

After Modi got a temporary breather from the Supreme Court in the Gulberg Society case, he plans to cash in on the situation. Congress party has however not been very appreciative of the rise of the Modi-story in the state. A Congress leader commented, "Looking at his track record, Modi has no right to speak of Sadbhavna. We will expose him through our fast. The main issue this time is corruption of Modi government and to divert attention of the people from the issue, Modi has undertaken this fast. But we will bring the focus back to corruption in his administration as an issue in our fast."

The man chosen to take over Modi, Vaghela, is an old Modi-ally during their time in BJP. In 1996, Vaghela left the BJP to form his own party, the Rashtriya Janata Party. He later moved to the Congress. After suffering a stunning defeat in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections in the Godhra constituency, he was further sidelined by the Congress.

In spite of this, Vaghela was named the head of the party's campaign committee for Gujarat elections on Sept 2. He had commented that he would use all his resources to take on Modi with full force in the upcoming elections in Dec 2012.

OneIndia News

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