Gujarat Congress leaders lambasted the chief minister Narendra Modi for his "five star fast" which is beginning on his 61st birth day, September 17 for three days. Modi will hold fast at sprawling Gujarat university convention centre in Ahmedabad where the state authorities are preparing the venue for grand event.
"You cannot achieve Sadbhavna by merely going on such five star fast with the help of entire state machinery. You first divided and polarized the society for political gains and now talk about Sadbhavna for also political gains," Congress leader Shankersinh Vaghela said reminding Modi of 2002 riots in which over 1200 people were killed.
Meanwhile at Modi's fast venue, over 3000 policemen, two bomb disposal squads will remain on stand by mode at the high profile fast venue where top BJP leaders including LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and Nitin Gadkari are expected to visit during the three day. Moreover, a huge media centre is also being set up to facilitate live coverage on TV channels.
They accused chief minister of playing politics of fast in order to deflect attention from other issues like corruption allegations, favors to certain industrial houses, Haren Pandya murder case and non-appointment of lokayukta for over seven years.
Top Congress leaders Shankersinh Vaghela, Shaktisinh Gohil and Arjun Modhvadia have also announced to go on fast at Sabarmati Mahatma Gandhi Ashram to expose Modi's political stunt.
These leaders have also written an open letter to the six crore people of Gujarat, stating corruption and wrongdoing by the Modi government, deteriorating law and order situation in the state, poor performance in social sectors like health, employment, women and child development and nutrition.
"Narendra Modi has known for playing politics on blood. Why he never thought of Sadbhavna mission when people were being killed on the streets in 2002 and several people were subsequently killed in fake encounters by the police," Congress leader Vaghela asked.
In the letter, opposition party has stated that over two dozen cops are in jail facing fake encounter cases and former junior home minister Amit Shah has been externed from Gujarat by the Apex Court.
They stressed that Gujarat is at the forefront of economic and industrial development not because of Modi but because entrepreneurship is in the DNA of all Gujaratis.
"Gujarat has always remained at the forefront, be it freedom struggle and development in post independent India. But this publicity hungry chief minister is trying to steal credit for everything," Vaghela said.
Fasts by Modi and Congress leaders are being seen as an attempt to activate the party cadres ahead of next year assembly polls which may be preponed by the state government.