Ahmedabad, Sep.17 (ANI): Congress leader Shakti Singh Gohil has described Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as an anti-social element and rubbished his goodwill mission thre-day fast that began here on Saturday.
"Today he is saying that 'eye for an eye' is not the solution. But at the time of communal riots, he said that 'every action has a reaction'. Have you forgotten those words? He (Narendra Modi) spoke like an anti-social leader would speak to burn the state, to provoke the mob, so that riots would take place as they can only rule with these politics," said Gohil.
After leading Gujarat for the past decade, there has been speculation that Modi might be about to play a greater role in national politics.
The BJP moved ahead of the ruling Congress party in two polls last month, as support for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government has withered because of high food prices and a series of corruption scandals.
Gohil said if they would carry ill feelings in heart and would show goodwill in words, then they would not be able to gather the support of people.
"We raised our voice against him, whether it is the issue of appointment of provincial ombudsman, corruption, fixed wage labourers, pension of widows, or land allotment. We started a campaign against him in every region and every district, and then he felt that achieving Prime Minister's position would be a dream, but the chief minister's hair would also be lost, then he thought of sitting on fast," said Gohil.
Gohil added that Modi himself was responsible for defaming the western state.
"This Gujarat has been defamed by Modi (Narendra Modi). It has never happened in the history of Gujarat that the chief minister of Gujarat wants to visit another country but that country's embassy refuses to give visa, then Gujarat is defamed. Even if you leave it aside, Gujarat's chief minister wanted to go to another state Bihar, which is ruled by BJP's chief minister Nitish Kumar, and he said that Gujarat's chief minister should not come into Bihar, then my Gujarat is defamed," added Gohil.
Modi took stringent measures against bureaucracy to help turn Gujarat into a motor of India's growth. However, his reputation as a hardliner who lets rioters rampage, continues to dog him.
Witnesses at the time said that the state police was absent during the worst of the violence, fuelling suspicion that Modi condoned the attacks on Muslims in retaliation for the deaths of a dozen Hindu pilgrims in a train fire.
In a rare sign of contrition, the notoriously self-assured Modi wrote an open letter on the eve of the fast opposing religious and caste divisions.
India has a tradition of fasting for political ends. It was famously used by Gujarat's most famous son, Mahatma Gandhi, against British colonial rule. More recently, activist Anna Hazare, 74, galvanized middle-class anger over graft with a 13-day hunger strike.
Modi is a major proponent of an ideology, shared by the BJP that emphasises the traditional Hindu nature of India.
The party governed from 1998-2004 after rising to prominence on a wave of Hindu nationalism after the destruction of a mosque built on the site of a Hindu temple. (ANI)