BJP puts united front, Advani-Modi shower praises on each other
Putting a united front ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, BJP patriarch L K Advani and party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi today displayed bonhomie showering praises on each other at a rally which goes to polls on April 30 here.
The occasion was filing of the nomination paper from Gandhinagar by Mr Advani.
Before filing nomination papers, Mr Advani while addressing 'Vijay Vishwas rally' near here lauded the Gujarat Chief Minister for his management skills.
"It is a proud moment for me and the whole Gujarat that the BJP nominated Mr Narendra Modi as the PM candidate. On May 16 when Lok Sabha elections results are out, I am sure that I will see him as the next PM," Mr Advani said amid huge applause from the gathering who was wearing "Modi for PM" caps.
Mr Advani, who shared stage for the first time with Mr Modi after the 'seat controversy', said this was his first election rally under the leadership of Mr Modi.
Mr Advani, who sat with Mr Modi on the stage, said he was aware of a special skill of the Gujarat Chief Minister and that was event management.
"He (Modi) is an amazing man. I am sure that when he becomes the Prime Minister he will implement this skill in the governance. Under Mr Modi, India will become a developed nation free from poverty, corruption and other problems.
India will get its deserving position under him in the 21st century," Mr Advani added in the rally.
Mr Modi also left no chance to shower praise on his mentor. "It is a matter of pride for me and all party workers that Advaniji is here. I alongwith many party workers got
a chance to hold his hands in political life. I don't remember a single moment in my political life when Advaniji was not there to guide and support me," the BJP's PM candidate said.
He said Mr Advani has brought the BJP at this position today.
Probably for the first time in recent times, both Mr Advani and Mr Modi displayed such bonhomie.
At one point when Mr Advani was coughing during his speech, Mr Modi in a gesture asked party workers to bring a glass of water for the veteran.
Mr Modi was by Mr Advani's side when the latter filed his nomination papers.
The today's bonhomie between Mr Advani and Mr Modi was a major relief for the BJP after reports of rift between the two most important leaders of the party kept surfacing on several occasions starting from elevation of Mr Modi at the national level.
According to the BJP sources, Mr Advani was earlier reluctant to contest from Gandhinagar fearing a possible 'sabotage' by 'team Modi' at the seat.
Mr Advani, who earlier had himself expressed his wish to contest from Gandhinagar, later demanded the party to field him for a safe Bhopal seat.
Mr Advani, the former deputy prime minister, accepted the party's decision fielding him from Gandhinagar after Mr Modi and almost all the top BJP leaders and even the RSS persuaded him to contest from the seat.
The BJP leadership had maintained that if Mr Advani insists to contest from Bhopal, it will give an impression of rift within the party ahead of the general election.
Last year, when Mr Modi was selected to head the poll campaign for 2014 parliamentary elections, Mr Advani had resigned from all his posts at the party only to withdraw his resignation the next day after intervention of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
In September 2013, the BJP announced Mr Modi as its prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Interestingly, it was Mr Advani who supported Mr Modi when the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee reportedly wanted to remove Mr Modi from the post of Gujarat Chief Minister after the 2002 riots in the state.
(Posted on 05-04-2014)