Gujarat Cong on 'fast' track

 But Modi’s fast in the air-conditioned exhibition hall of Gujarat University has shown the door to the second edition of the Pharmacy India 2011, the booking of which was done way back in April and the organisers had made a payment of Rs 5 lakh per day the official charges of the hall.

Now, the organisers have been asked to shift at the Mahatma Mandir, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. Officially, the organisers say that the Mahatma Mandir is more spacious and will accommodate more visitors but unofficially they admit that the last minute change would make it difficult for a lot of delegates and that they had no option. Interestingly, though the Modi government had decided to give just a one rupee token amount for the hall it later decided to pay up the entire charges for the hall following criticism. But payment by the government would mean that tax payers’ money would go towards the hall expenses.

Mocking at Modi’s fast, Shankarsinh Vaghela, who is going to begin an hour before Modi and end two hours after Modi outside the Sabarmati ashram said, “This word Sadbhavna should have come from him in 2002 when there was a requirement of feeling of brotherhood.” He said the Congress’ movement was a people’s movement whereas that of Modi was an attempt at self -projection.  An old BJP hand, Vaghela, who is now the poll campaign incharge of the Congress party will spearhead his party’s fast, though it is not clear so far if any senior Congress leader will attend his event.

Senior BJP leaders L K Advani and Arun Jaitley are expected to attend Modi’s fast, apart from Muslim faces like Ismail Darbar. Punjab Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal is also expected to visit the chief minister on one of the days.

Modi ‘perfect PM material’: Naidu

Mumbai: BJP senior leader Venkaiah Naidu on Thursday praised Gujarat CM Narendra Modi sky-high and described him as “perfect prime minister material” while also admitting that the “party has a lot of contenders for the coveted chair”.

Naidu said, “Modi is good material for PM candidature, but one should not forget that there are other leaders too in BJP.

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