Former deputy prime minister and BJP MP from Gandhinagar L K Advani praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a karyakarta sammelan, Wednesday, the first in his constituency after the last Lok Sabha elections, but warned that the party should not forget its founders and the RSS.
Advani got a lukewarm response as neither the state party chief Ranchchoddas Faldu, nor Chief Minister Anandi Patel was present. The audience, too, was thin.
He remembered the contribution of RSS founding members like Nanaji Deshmukh and Syama Prasad Mookherjee and said, “When Modi was asked to lead the party as head of the government, he left his mark on the country and world. We are proud of him… But we should not forget how this happened.”
“Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the best PM. While a few now remember the sacrifice of founding members, I got noticed as I happened to become the Home Minister once,” Advani added.
The karyakarta sammelan near Sola area on Hebatpur road in Ahmedabad was his second event on his two-day visit beginning Wednesday.
He earlier inaugurated a garden near Chandkheda built from his local area development fund.
Advani was among the three senior-most leaders dropped from the BJP’s highest decision-making body, Parliamentary Board, in August.
Advani, along with Murli Manohar Joshi and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, were “elevated’’ to the newly formed Margdarshak Mandal.
The only senior leaders present at the venue were Surendra Patel and spokesman I K Jadeja.
Of the seven MLAs falling under the Gandhinagar LS seat, the only MLA present at the sammelan was Rakesh Shah who represents
Ellisbridge assembly constituency.
Chief Minister Patel was in Porbandar on account of the Swachchhata Abhiyan, while Naranpura MLA and BJP national chief Amit Shah was away campaigning in poll-bound states.
All leaders hailed Advani for his immense contribution in party-building, but their speeches were focussed on PM and Advani’s protege Narendra Modi.
“For October 2, Narendra bhai has given the beautiful programme of cleanliness. Let’s participate and take message of Narendra bhai forward,” said senior leader Kaushik Patel, who also hailed Modi for giving a Congress-free India.