After stubbornly resisting anointment of Narendra Modi as BJP's PM nominee, L K Advani today endorsed the party's decision when he hoped that with Gujarat Chief Minister at helm all good work undertaken by BJP governments in states will be replicated across the country.
"Today, if he (Modi) has been entrusted with the responsibility of the country by my party BJP, then all the good tasks undertaken by our governments in various states would be carried out all over the country," Advani told reporters after his first public speech at a rally here since Modi's anointment on Friday.
Advani, who got isolated in the party over Modi's anointment as BJP's prime ministerial challenger, said, "Gujarat is the first state in the country where electricity is available in all villages 24 hours a day and the credit for that goes to Narendra Modi."
The BJP patriarch's plaudit for Modi came three days after he went into a sulk following BJP Parliamentary Board's decision to nominate him as the party's prime ministerial candidate ignoring Advani's stiff opposition.
Though Advani, Sushma Swaraj and BJP veteran Murli Manohar Joshi were said to be against Modi's elevation ahead of assembly elections to five states, both the Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha and Joshi had attended Friday's meeting of the Parliamentary Board where the decision was taken.
The BJP stalwart was addressing a gathering after dedicating to the nation a 500 MW power plant of the Hasdeo extension project of Chhattisgarh state power generation company limited.
Referring to Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in the same breath, Advani praised the Gujarat Chief Minister for being the first in providing electricity to all villages in his state, a task which has now been accomplished by Chouhan.
"It was Narendra Modi who did this task first of providing electricity to all villages of the state," Advani said.
"Shivraj Singh Chaouhan took a pledge of providing electricity to every village in the state. He first provided electricity in three districts. He has now completed this task. If someone who did this task first of all, it was my colleague Narendra Modi," he said.
Advani also appreciated Chief Minister Raman Singh's efforts towards making Chhattisgarh a power surplus state.
"Raman Singh always thinks for his people and the youth. I thank him and his cabinet colleagues for making Chhattisgarh a power surplus state," he said.
"I am told that when the government was formed, no party leader was interested in taking charge of energy department. Then Raman Singh said he will take care of it and made such a remarkable development on this front," he said.
After the announcement on Modi, Advani had confined himself to his Delhi residence before making an appearance at the birthday celebrations of eminent lawyer Ram Jethmalani last evening.
Though Modi was also present at the function, the cold vibes were all too apparent. Modi bent down before the BJP veteran in a gesture of respect and the two exchanged pleasantries but hardly talked to each other.
As Advani remonstrated while remaining closeted at his residence, there was a virtual parade of BJP bigwigs to mollify the sulking leader.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.