Narendra Modi ended his three-day fast Monday evening with a speech rich in promise and rhetoric. By proclaiming his mission had just begun, he confirmed everyone's suspicion that he wants to be prime minister in 2014, when the next parliamentary elections are due.
The fast was a Modi show rather than a party gala. Of course, senior BJP leader Venkaiah Naidu was around, and obliged Modi by saying he was prime ministerial material. But the fast likely upset party patriarch L K Advani by stealing his rath yatra thunder.
Modi's high-profile demonstration, which he said was in the cause of communal harmony, did many things at many levels: put the Congress on the defensive, showed up the cracks in the National Democratic Alliance, and, within the BJP, revealed who was in his camp.
If he wants to rise in national politics, Modi will have to erase the shame of the 2002 communal riots that claimed over a thousand lives. That's not going to be easy, and he hasn't apologised for it yet. EvenRead More »from Narendra Modi yearns for a saintly halo