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HindustanTimes Fri,25 Jul 2014

Modi tries to stage scene of inter-faith harmony at fast venue

PTI  Ahmedabad, September 17, 2011
First Published: 15:33 IST(17/9/2011) | Last Updated: 15:36 IST(17/9/2011)

Dressed in their traditional attire, people from the Muslim community were seen in large numbers at the venue of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's fast which also saw people from other faiths marking their presence.

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Priests of various religions -- Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism -- and sects such as Swaminarayan sat alongside Modi and other top BJP leaders who have come from across the country to support the 'sadbhavana' fast.

Modi himself arrived at 10am and sought blessings of all the religious leaders on the stage before taking his seat. He was greeted by BJP leaders L K Advani, Arun Jaitley, Ravishankar Prasad and some NDA leaders who were present.

Modi, who became posterboy for aggressive Hindutava politics after 2002 communal riots, has been on an image make-over drive in the last few years.

He faced and continues to face accusations of a biased handling of 2002 riots, in which over 1,000 people -- mostly Muslims -- died.

At the fast venue today, people from the Muslim community were seen in large number, dressed in traditional attire with caps. Women from the community too were seen in a substantial number.

Before Modi's speech, there was slogan-shouting by the people of the minority community, in his praise. Members of Sikh community in the gathering too greeted the Chief Minister with religious slogans.


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