A Modi versus Modi standoff taking shape in Gujarat has fizzled out, probably to the relief of the younger but stronger one - CM Narendra Modi.
Last week, the CM had found elder brother Prahlad Modi, the head of Gujarat fair price licence holders' association, standing in the way of his decision to modernise the public distribution system (PDS).
The association had threatened to go on strike, essentially against the plan to introduce new bar-coded ration cards through which computers would automatically detect fake cards, rampant in parts of the state. The strike apparently took place, but the government took no note and implemented the CM's decision.
According to sources, Prahlad withdrew the strike on Saturday after talks with Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. "The association was against the harassment of its members by government authorities," he said.
It was not immediately known if the brothers had spoken on the issue.
State civil supplies minister Narottam Patel said Tuesday, "We did not agree to their demand for withdrawal of the bar-coded ration cards and the online monitoring system."
He said the association was against modernisation of the PDS, which is beset with pilferage of ration, kerosene and corruption.
According Patel, there are more than 10 million ration cards in the state, around 16,200 fair price shops and more than 8,000 kerosene retailers catering to 60 million people.