Home India Politics Contrasting styles mark Modi, Vaghela fasts

Contrasting styles mark Modi, Vaghela fasts


Ahmedabad : Contrasting styles mark the venues where Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and former chief minister Shankersinh Vaghela of the Congress are fasting.

There was night-long police vigil at the centrally air-conditioned Gujarat University international convention centre where Modi is fasting.

A special chamber with attached toilet enabled Modi to retire in comfort at around 10.30 p.m.

In contrast, Vaghela and Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modvadia slept on the dias erected on a pavement outside the Sabarmati ashram. In the morning, they used the public toilets in the ashram.

If mineral water kiosks were visible at the venue of Modi’s fast and meals provided to thousands, there are no such facilities at the Congress site.

Tea stalls did roaring business where Vaghela is on hunger strike.

There were angry scenes at the venue of the chief minister’s fast when the organizers ran out of food. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders had to rush to becalm frayed tempers.

For all the arrangements at Modi’s fast, the crowds dwindled by late afternoon Saturday after the high profile inaugural function got over.

Most of the back seats in the 15,000-strong convention centre remained empty.

State transport buses deployed at various points in the city to take people free of cost to the venue were not much in demand.

At least 30 guest books had been kept at the venue of Modi’s fast for people to write their comments.

These elicited interesting opinions. If some voiced support for the chief minister, others complained about lack of civic matters.

One comment questioned the logic of incurring so much money when the state was reeling under a debt burden.

Another drew attention to the hefty bribes being demanded by the administration in Surat. One said Modi was younger in thought than Rahul Gandhi.

Many who could not write took the help of volunteers. On one table, when the guest-book got filled up, it was replaced with official government stationery.

The pastoralists fasting to demand curbs on cow slaughter were pacified with an official assurance that their problems would be sorted out by Sep 23.

Modi’s peace and goodwill offensive also saw the state government launch a countrywide advertisement campaign.

The blitzkrieg, both in English and Gujarat media, is still continuing.