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Modi breaks fast

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Ahmedabad, Apr 17 (UNI) Welcoming the Supreme Court's observations that work on raising the height of Sardar Sarovar dam on Narmada river should continue, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today called off his 51-hour fast after observing it for 29 hours here this evening, saying his objective of focussing on the public issue has been achieved.

Mr Modi, who broke his fast by accepting lemon juice from BJP leader Om Mathur, said '' My fast was neither a victory nor defeat..

it was only aimed at focussing on the issue of dam height''. The confusion created on the issue by Union Water Resources Minister Saifudin Soz compelled him to undertake the fast as his remarks were anti-dam, he added.

'' As a soldier of Gujarat I could not have taken it (Soz's anti-dam remarks) lying down''.

Mr Modi said the SC's observations on the issue had cleared most of the confusion created by the UPA government but he said the state government would have to maintain utmost vigilance on the issue because activists of Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) have been resorting to intimidatory tactics against people being helped in rehabilitation by the state government.

Alleging that the NBA activists had beaten up a person who wanted to accept the resettlement package offered by the state government, the Chief Minister appealed to the apex court to look into such tactics being employed by them to malign his government. '' I will also take up this issue with my Madhya Pradesh counterpart,'' he added.

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