Bhopal, September 25: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and sulking BJP veteran L K Advani shared the stage for the first time to address a BJP workers’ meet after Modi was anointed the party’s prime ministerial candidate on September 13.
Modi, wearing a lemon-yellow kurta and white pyjamas, and Advani in white kurta and dhoti and sleeveless Nehru jacket, spent more than three hours on the dais but did not talk.
And the warmth between the two was missing on the magnificent stage which had a replica of the gate of Sanchi Stupa and chariot like pulpit from where the senior leaders addressed the audience.
Just in-front of the dais a fire akin to Amar Jawan Jyoti was lit.
The BJP senior leaders led by Advani came to the stage around 1.05 pm to address a huge gathering of workers at the ‘Karyakarta Mahakumbh’ in the run up to the MP assembly polls.
At the start of the function, Advani, in the twinkling of an eye, handed over a bouquet to Modi in a welcome gesture. They did not talk.
Advani gives cold vibes at Modi rally
The body language of Advani suggested that he was still not happy with Modi’s elevation.
Modi after his 35-minute address to the workers went and touched Advani’s feet. But, the BJP veteran leader didn’t bless him.
On the contrary, Advani blessed MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan when he presented him a bouquet and touched his feet while welcoming him on the stage.
On the stage, Modi talked to BJP president Rajnath Singh who sat between him and Advani.
On the other hand, Advani appeared disturbed and quite. He did talk to Chouhan, who sat next to him on his left side.
In his five-minute address, Advani said it was his honour to share the stage with “Narendrabhai Modi”, the party’s prime ministerial candidate.
He did say that Gujarat was the first state to supply 24-hour power to rural area. After Gujarat, he said MP was giving round-the-clock power to rural and now Chhattisgarh was doing it too.
When Advani was addressing party workers, a large number of cadres, especially youth, rented the air with chants of “Modi, Modi”.
This went louder and possibly because of this, the senior BJP leader cut short his speech.
In his 35-minute address, Modi mentioned the name of Advani once.
He said: “Advanji was the guide to all BJP leaders and workers”.
He said the Congress’ condition would come to such a pass in the Lok Sabha elections next year, it won’t be able to field candidates.
“The CBI would run the Lok Sabha polls for the Congress,” he said.
In his address, he focused his attack on the Congress holding it responsible for all the ills in the country.
He said that the true homage to Mahatma Gandhi would be a Congress-free India.
“We need a corruption free India and that is possible only in Congress-free India,” he added.
Earlier, when BJP leaders such as Murli Manohar Joshi, Ananth Kumar, Arun Jaitley, Uma Bharti, Sushma Swaraj, Venkaiah Naidu and others spoke, the audience shouted in one accord “Modi, Modi, Modi”.
Even during the MP chief minister’s address, many workers, including the ones wearing Chouhan’s mask and holding his cut outs shouted “Modi, Modi”.
The audience was so excited shouting “Modi, Modi” that when BJP leaders delivered their speeches, they could not be heard clearly.
When Modi spoke, the audience rushed toward the dais to have a glimpse of him. Clearly, Modi stole the show.
Local BJP leaders and policemen had a tough time disciplining the audience to keep them away from the stage.