Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi is on the third and last day of his 'sadbhavana' fast in Ahmedabad on Monday. Many people are seeing this fast as an attempt by the Gujarat CM to improve his image and gain acceptance among various section of the society, especially the Muslims.
Ahead of going to fast, Modi had expressed gratitude to all those who had pointed out his "genuine mistakes" during the past 10 years. An official press release, issued on the eve of his three-day fast, stated that the chief minister has said that "India and Gujarat have realised that casteism and communal fanaticism does not serve anybody. Gujarat has risen over the distortions in society and national life to march on to the path of progress, peace, unity, harmony and brotherhood."
Though many people see this as a positive step taken by the chief minister to reach out to the minorities, but others still want Modi to express regret for the 2002 Gujarat riots. However, expressing regret can also be seen as admission of guilt. Now, it is to be seen if Modi will express regret for the 2002 riots and further reach out to the Muslims on the last day of his fast.
As Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi's 72-hour fast entered the third and final day on Monday, top BJP leaders are expected to make an appearance at the venue and lend their support to his 'Sadbhavana Mission'.
Among the most prominent BJP leaders, who are expected to arrive at the Gujarat University Convention Centre in Ahmedabad, include leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj, former BJP president Venkaiah Naidu, party MP and actor Hema Malini, national spokesperson Nirmala Sitaraman and Maharashtra Navnirman Seva (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray.
Modi is likely to end his fast at around 5.30pm on Monday. At 10.30am, Modi and people at the venue observed a minute of silence for the victims of the earthquake that hit Sikkim and several areas in the eastern and northern parts of the country on Sunday.
State transport buses from across Gujarat are bringing people from all walks of life at the fast site and they were seen carrying banners with slogans supporting Modi's fast.
After Sunday's incident of baton-charging by police on the crowd that had come to visit the CM, Gujarat revenue minister and close aide of Modi, Anandi Patel has taken on the task of supervising the security arrangements at the entrance gate.
Patel was seen at the main entrance, instructing police officers and discussing security arrangements with them.
"Today being the concluding day of Modi's three-day long fast, a huge crowd is expected, besides VIP dignitaries from across the country," a BJP member said.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) health department staff were also seen sprinkling gamaczine powder at the venue and outside it.
(With PTI inputs)
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