India’s Modi Begins 3-Day Fast

Posted September 17th, 2011 at 5:17 am (UTC-5)
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An Indian political leader has begun a three-day fast to promote “communal harmony.”

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi began the fast Saturday in Ahmedabad, the capital of Gujarat, with members of his opposition Bharatiya Janata Party in attendance.

Analysts say Modi wants to become India's prime minister and is conducting a political makeover to put behind him allegations of complicity in deadly Hindu-Muslim riots in 2002.

Modi, who has always denied any wrongdoing over the riots, wrote an open letter in Indian newspapers before the fast. He said he was “grateful” for all those who pointed out his “genuine mistakes” in the last 10 years.

India has a tradition of fasting for political ends. It was famously used by Mahatma Gandhi against British colonial rule. More recently, activist Anna Hazare conducted a 13-day anti-graft fast.