In his parting address to BJP workers and MLAs, Narendra Modi described his banishment from Gujarat and that of Amit Shah as a steppingstone to where they are now.
Shortly after the party selected Anandiben Patel as his successor as Gujarat CM, Modi said at Gandhinagar Town Hall: “In 1995, because of strife in the party I had to leave Gujarat. Congressmen were so happy. A respected leader had told them, you might rejoice Modi’s banishment but nothing will come of this; the Congress did not understand… The same thing they did to Amitbhai. See what the CBI set out to do, and see what happened. Now if they see Amitbhai’s photo… They had no idea that if a man sets out with a mission, he can accomplish anything.”
He praised Anandiben, Gujarat’s first woman CM: “Teachers may be strict, but that is only for the good of the student.” He described her as the first Gujarat CM who is a gold medallist in MSc.
Anandiben, 74, a former teacher and currently revenue minister, was elected unopposed as leader of the BJP in the assembly after Law Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma proposed her name. She broke down in her acceptance speech. She said she would not let the party down for the faith it has shown in a woman. She thanked Modi and the party and said, “It’s difficult for women to work in a political party. The BJP is the party in which women are given the right atmosphere to work.” She promised her government would walk the path Modi had laid out.
Modi also referred to peace during his rule and dwelt on the riot years: “Newspaper pages would be full of images of police lathicharge, people running… today, I think if a major agitation breaks out, the Gujarat police will not be able to handle it, for they have forgotten how…”
He mocked the media for its speculation: “Modi’s cabinet is yet not formed… They (media) have declared so many ministers, allotted departments, cited reasons… They have made my task easier… Just send me copies of those reports…
“Now lets talk chai… Did anybody think of a tea revolution? The Congress had made fun of this chaiwala. Look, the chaiwala has stood up before you.”