Advani endorses Modi as BJP's PM candidate for first time

Last Updated 16 October 2013, 14:02 IST

Endorsing Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the first time, party patriarch L K Advani today said he would be happy to see him as the Prime Minister.

A visibly placated Advani also lavished praise on Modi for the work done in Gujarat which had brought him accolades not only in the country but also abroad.

"If we get the chance to form next government, we will be happy to see Narendrabhai as our Prime Minister," Advani said at an event here to mark the inauguration of Institute of Infrastructure, Technology, Research and Management.
"When I came here, I asked an institute official if there is any other educational institution in the country where infrastructure is taught as a subject and the answer was no," Advani said commending Modi's pursuit of novelty.

"Narendrabhai is always thinking what new he can do, what new initiative he can take," he said.

"The work done in Gujarat under Narendrabhai is not only praised in the country but all over the world," Advani said at the event, the third during the day where the two leaders were present together, indicating a thaw in their relations.

Advani, 85, who represents Gandhinagar in the Lok Sabha, was seen at a public function with Modi in Gujarat for the first time after 2011.

Though the two BJP heavyweights had shared a public platform in Bhopal on September 25 with the top party brass for the first time after Modi's anointment as party's prime ministerial candidate, the warmth between them was missing.

Advani had lauded Modi for the work done by him in Gujarat, but also showered liberal praise on Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Raman Singh, BJP Chief Ministers of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

However, in marked contrast today, both appeared more relaxed in each other's company.

Opposing the elevation of Modi, his one-time protege, as BJP's election campaign committee chief, Advani had resigned from all party posts in June this year but later withdrew his resignation after RSS intervened.

He had also not attended the party's Parliamentary Board meeting last month where Modi was declared BJP's prime ministerial contender.

Earlier, in the day they attended a function where Advani inaugurated a garden built by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation along the Sabarmati river under the Riverfront Development Project and also a meeting of Somnath Temple Trust.

(Published 16 October 2013, 14:02 IST)

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