The Narendra Modi government has said the chief minister's 'Sadbhavna' fasts were organised on the directives of various Central government ministries with an objective to preserve communal harmony and strengthen national unity.
A letter from the Governor Dr Kamla Beniwal's principal secretary Arvind Joshi to former Gujarat minister Gordhan Zadafia, president of the Mahagujarat Janta Party, said, "With regard to your representation to know the rationale behind Chief Minister Narendra Modi's fasts and expenditure incurred on it, a report was called from the state government."
The letter of March 2 was released to the media by Mr Zadafia today.
Mr Zadafia, who was Minister of State for Home during the post-Godhra riots, had sought the Governor's intervention to know the purpose and expenditure incurred on the 'Sadbhavna' fasts, after the state government did not respond to his queries last year.
"As per interim report received from Home Department, the Sadbhavna fasts were organised by the state government in accordance with directions from various Central government ministries with an objective to preserve communal harmony in various communities of the state which will strengthen national unity..." the letter said.
Mr Modi had launched the Sadbhavna fasts with a three-day fast here on his birthday - September 17 last year. This was followed by 33 one-day fasts across the state which ended on February 12.
The letter, though did not mention total expenditure incurred on all the Sadbhavna fasts by the government, said Rs 1.57 crore was spent on the three-day fast by Mr Modi at the Gujarat University convention hall here from September 17-19, 2011.
Mr Zadafia in a press statement, has brushed aside the figures given by the state government saying it was a "lie". He also sought to know from the Modi government as to which circular issued by the Central government had directed the state government to organise such fasts.
Between September and December last year, Mr Zadafia had sent four letters to the state government seeking the rationale and details of expenditure incurred on the fasts.
With no response from the state government, Mr Zadafia had sought the Governor's intervention.