Gandhinagar, May 22 UNI | 2 months ago

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi today took former BJP veteran leader Keshubhai Patel to the dais during the swearing-in ceremony of Anandiben Patel as new Gujarat CM, even as reports of 'tensed relations' between both the former chief ministers were doing the rounds earlier.


Ms Patel was sitting in the VIPs row at the swearing-in function at Mahatma Mandir.

When Mr Modi -- who was at the dais along with all the top leaders of the BJP -- saw Mr Patel, he reached out to him, taking him along to the dais. Mr Modi even held his hand while taking him to the dais, where BJP patriarch LK Advani hugged him and BJP president Rajnath Singh and other senior leaders also gave him a warm welcome.

Mr Patel, who was a member of the BJP from 1980s, had left the saffron party in 2012 and formed the Gujarat Parivartan Party. He was elected from Visavadar in 2012 Assembly elections, but later resigned from active politics this year due to ill health. Later the GPP merged with BJP in February 2014.

Mr Modi has visited Mr Patel on several important political and social occasions.

His son, Bharat Patel was given the BJP ticket from Visavdar Assembly seat in the bypolls last month, but was defeated by the Congress candidate. Yesterday, the Gujarat Assembly witnessed bonhomie between Mr Modi and friend-turned-foe and Leader of Opposition, Shankarsinh Vaghela.

Mr Vaghela gave credit to Mr Modi for the BJP's historic win in the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections, where the party bagged 282 out of 543 seats.

Mr Vaghela had joined the Congress in the mid 90s after leaving the BJP.

Mr Modi will be sworn-in as India's 15th Prime Minister on May 26.

(Posted on 22-05-2014)