As part of the second phase of "Sadbhavna" (harmony) mission, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Thursday observed a one-day fast even as Union minister Tushar Chaudhary of Congress undertook a parallel fast to protest "wastage" of public money.
After launching the Sadbhavna mission to promote peace and harmony among people last month by observing a three-day fast, Modi has now embarked on the second leg of the mission where he would observe day-long fast in each of the 26 districts in the state.
The second leg had begun with his one-day fast in the temple town of Dwarka in Jamnagar district on Sunday.
"We have experienced the strength of peace, harmony and brotherhood which has taken Gujarat to great heights. This feat which we have achieved today needs to be remembered," Modi said addressing a public gathering at Luncikui ground here where a large number of people joined him in his fast.
"I did not say this before because I wanted first to show how peace, harmony and brotherhood could be achieved. With our efforts of last 10 years we have achieved it. I would like to tell the world to leave behind caste-based discrimination as it helps no one," he said.
"I want to declare to the world that the path of peace, brotherhood and harmony adopted by the people of Gujarat had made this possible," the chief minister said.
Modi said that the Sadbhavna Mission was not discovered by him or his government, nor did the idea pop up in his head on one fine morning.
Observing that "sadbhavna" has been a legacy of Indian culture for thousand years, Modi said terrorism will be wiped out from the face of the planet if the world understands the message of sadbhavna.
Modi attributed success of his 10 years in power to the six crore people of the state and said that it was with their strength that Gujarat has carved out its place on the world map.
Meanwhile, dubbing Modi's fast as a "drama and waste of public fund for political purpose", Union minister Tushar Choudhary, Valsad MP Kishan Patel and some local MLAs observed a counter fast near Navsari railway station.
Over 200 workers of mid-day meal programme were detained when they were marching towards Modi's venue fast with black band on their hands.