Advani, Modi share podium in Bhopal

Bhopal, Sep 25 (IANS) The BJP Wednesday put up a show of unity with party veteran L.K. Advani and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi sharing the podium for the first time since Modi was named the party's prime ministerial candidate, despite Advani's stiff opposition.

Advani greeted Modi with a bouquet of flowers, and the Gujarat chief minister bowed to touch the veteran leader's feet as a mark of respect.

Party leader Uma Bharati, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, was also present at the "Karyakarta Mahakumbh" (party workers' mega conclave) which was addressed by party president Rajnath Singh.

Advani said the Bharatiya Janata Party will seek the mandate in party-ruled states of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh on the basis of its performance.

Referring to Modi as "Narendra bhai Modi", Advani said it was a matter of pleasure that the leader who had been made the party's prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections was also present at the rally.

He praised Modi for providing round-the-clock electricity to villages in Gujarat, and said Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh had followed suit.

Advani did not attend the BJP's parliamentary board meeting in New Delhi earlier this month, which decided to elevate Modi as the party's prime minsiterial candidate.

He said the rally would be the biggest gathering of workers of a political party in the world.

Rajnath Singh said that Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had worked as a "servant" of people.

Madhya Pradesh is one of five states where assembly polls are scheduled later this year.


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