Day 2: Fasting Gujarat CM reads the riot act
On the second day of his fast for peace and harmony, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi faced the wrath of the victims of the 2002 post-Godhra riots as well as allegations that he had used public funds to “bribe” the lawyers of activist-danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.mumbai Updated: Sep 19, 2011 01:32 IST
On the second day of his fast for peace and harmony, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi faced the wrath of the victims of the 2002 post-Godhra riots as well as allegations that he had used public funds to “bribe” the lawyers of activist-danseuse Mallika Sarabhai.
At least 50 people were detained as the riot victims were barred from protesting against the chief minister in the Naroda area — where more than 90 people were killed during the riots — 8 km from Modi's fast site. Sarabhai and Mukul Sinha of the NGO Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) were among those detained."The police tried to prohibit riot victims meeting at Naroda Patiya by denying permission today," Sinha said. "The real face of Modi’s sadbhavana is now exposed."
Modi, however, said his fast was aimed at making his state more prosperous and harmonious rather than pursuing prime ministership. “I don't know what makes media persons think that way. I talk about Gujarat and its development, which has been recognised all over,” Modi told news channels, responding to questions whether he was promoting his candidature for prime minister.
Meanwhile, a large number of people from across the state were brought in state transport and private luxury buses at the fast venue — Gujarat University convention hall. “More than 500 state transport buses were hired to bring people from far-flung areas of the state,” said a government official involved in preparations. A large crowd turned up because it was Sunday.
BJP leaders such as Ananth Kumar, DV Sadananda Gowda, Shahnawas Hussain and Vijay Goel came to support the chief minister in the Sadbhavna mission. They praised Modi for development works undertaken by the Gujarat government.
Shahnawas Hussain said the large gathering of Muslims at the venue suggested the community had moved on and accepted the leadership of Modi, adding the development model adopted by the chief minister had eliminated divisive politics.
Earlier, Sarabhai accused Modi of trying to bribe her lawyers in an attempt to derail proceedings of a PIL filed by her in the Supreme Court in 2002 in which she contended the state administration and the CM were “complicit” in the 2002 riots.