Modi, Vaghela spar in Mansa town | india | Hindustan Times
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Modi, Vaghela spar in Mansa town

Chief minister Narendra Modi and his arch rival in Gujarat politics Shankarsinh Vaghela on Thursday almost came face to face in Mansa town.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2012 23:46 IST

Chief minister Narendra Modi and his arch rival in Gujarat politics Shankarsinh Vaghela on Thursday almost came face to face in Mansa town.

Modi was on Thursday on a one-day Sadbhavna fast at Mansa in Gandhinagar district, where Vaghela launched a leg of Congress's Sardar Sandesh Yatra.

The state assembly elections, scheduled for December this year, are being touted as a fight between the two former RSS colleagues-turned arch-enemies. Congress has appointed Vaghela as campaign committee chairman.

Both Vaghela and Modi started their careers in BJP, but turned against each other after BJP came to power in Gujarat. Vaghela quit BJP and formed his own outfit, Rashtriya Janta Party. Later he joined Congress.

"BJP's misrule in Gujarat has badly affected the marginalized section of the society. It has also insulted Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, while claiming that they are his followers," Vaghela said before starting Mansa leg of Sardar Sandesh Yatra.

While Modi, in his speech after the fast, attacked Congress over the issue of minority reservations in the OBC quota. "Centre's move to deduct OBC quota is a bid to divide society on the basis of religion and caste", Modi said.

Modi said the minority quota would infringe on the rights of OBCs to get benefit of 27 per cent reservation in Gujarat. Even the constitutional experts were opposed to a quota on the basis of religion, he said.

"Post-Independence, single party-rule from panchayats to the Parliament for about 40 years made the Congress power-hungry," Modi said.

"It has degraded the dignity and decorum of Parliament and all democratic norms. Lately, the Congress has lost the confidence of its own coalition partners in its `cut-paste' politics," Modi said, referring to Congress's attitude during debate on Lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha.

"I have never seen a party which has brought the bill, but is not ready to pass it in the upper house."

Vaghela, on the other hand, criticised the ten years Modi's rule, saying it was anti-poor and anti-farmer. "People have realised that this government is not for them but for a few rich people. They are awaiting change. In 2012, Congress will form government in Gujarat," Vaghela said.

The Congress today also launched Sardar Sandesh Yatra from Porbandar, where state unit president Arjun Modhwadia is leading it. Two yatrs also started from two different locations in Ahmedabad city.