Modi's fast a gimmick for political mileage: Cong
Gujarat Congress on Sunday termed CM Narendra Modi's 51-hour fast as a gimmick to gain political advantage.india Updated: Apr 17, 2006 20:50 IST
Gujarat's opposition Congress on Sunday described Chief Minister Narendra Modi's 51-hour fast against suspending construction work at the Sardar Sarovar dam as a gimmick to gain political advantage.
After withdrawing its daylong state-wide shutdown call on Sunday afternoon following Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's "assurance" to the state's parliamentarians that the construction work at the dam would not be stalled, the Congress said Modi's decision to continue his fast was a drama for political reasons.
"Once the Prime Minister has assured us that he will allow the construction of the dam, why should he continue with his fast?" Asked Congress spokesperson Shaktisinh Gohil.
"Now there is no reason to agitate against the central government. And if it is necessary, why should he not go for an indefinite hunger strike the way (Narmada Bachao Andolan) activist Medha Patkar has done? If he goes on such a fast for a proper demand, we will also join him," Gohil told reporters in Ahmedabad.
Modi started his fast at 2 pm along with some of his cabinet colleagues and Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) workers at the GMDC ground in the city after alleging that Saifuddin Soz, the central Water Resources Minister, was conspiring against the state's interests by paying "undue attention" to Patkar's demands.
The Congress criticism of Modi's fast came after a week of a united stand on continuing construction on the dam which is expected to relieve certain parts of the state of recurrent water shortages.