Now Advani praises PM hopeful Modi

Korba (Chhattisgarh), Sep 16 (IANS) Senior BJP leader L.K. Advani Monday praised Narendra Modi, only days after opposing the party's move to anoint the Gujarat chief minister as its prime ministerial candidate.

Advani, one of the founders of both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the earlier Bharatiya Jana Sangh, in the same breath lauded the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

"Modi was the first leader who has taken development into rural areas of Gujarat. He played a big role in developing Gujarat from where I have been elected an MP," said Advani, who represents Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha.

Advani, 85, was speaking after dedicating a 500 MW thermal power plant in the BJP-ruled state.

Advani said Modi as well as Chief Ministers Shivraj Singh of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh had also taken economic development into the rural hinterlands of their states.

He said he was proud "to see their achievement and success".

This was Advani's first public comment on Modi since the Gujarat chief minister was Sep 13 named the prime ministerial candidate of BJP despite his opposition.

An unhappy Advani did not attend the parliamentary board meeting where Modi's name was decided upon and wrote a scathing letter to BJP president Rajnath Singh.

On Monday, Advani praised Raman Singh and said Chhattisgarh had seen "tremendous development" since it was born out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000.

He advised the Chhattisgarh government to focus on education and health sectors and also urged students to keep themselves updated with changes in the IT sector.

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