Modi on final leg of fast; political mileage gained

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Narendra Modi
Ahmedabad, Sept 19: With Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's high-profile 3-day Sadbhavana fast grabbing the limelight, Sunday (Sept 18) saw a dramatic turn of events when Godhra riot victims were detained after they attempted to carry out a protest march. On his last day of the fast for communal harmony and peace, it is not surprising that the efforts will pay off for Modi's bigger role in national politics. The fast also gave Modi a clear indication on who his friends and foes are.

The fast is scheduled to end at 5 PM on Monday and will be attended by top leaders like Sushma Swaraj and Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) Chief, Raj Thackeray. But the occasion also posed some tough questions, after the Godhra riots issue was raised in his presence. The riot victims led by activist Mallika Sarabhai and Mukul Sinha were detained and taken by the police when they raised disturbing questions on the role Modi had to play in the riots.

Meanwhile, a parallel fast underway by Modi-rival and Congress leader Shankarsinh Vaghela aiming to highlight the wasteful expenditure of Modi on the fast and the various administrative malpractices in his regime. The fast at the Gandhi Ashram will also end today, but two hours after Modi ends his.

Modi had only received a temporary breather from the Supreme Court for his alleged role in the Godhra riots case. With the fast acting as an effort to cement his commitment to communal harmony and peace in the state, he was quoted as saying in his speech at the fast venue, "I am grateful to all who pointed out my genuine mistakes during the last 10 years...Gujarat has overcome the feeling of Communalism....the pain of each citizen is my own pain."

With the Akali Dal and the AIADMK promising their support to Modi's cause, key ally JD(U) openly declared that they were not in support of Modi's prime-ministerial ambitions, since JD(U) Chief Nitish Kumar was also eyeing the top job.

OneIndia News

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