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Days after he made clear his opposition to Narendra Modi being named the BJP's 2014 prime ministerial candidate, veteran leader L K Advani sprang a surprise on Monday by publicly praising the Gujarat chief minister for his good work.
At the same time, Advani also had good things to say about the work done by BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The pat on the back for Modi came at a function in Chhattisgarh's Korba district where Advani was inaugurating a 500 MW thermal power plant.
Although the former deputy prime minister was expected to speak about the electrification plans of the Raman Singh government, he ended up commending Gujarat's achievements in the power sector under Modi. He also sought to take pride in the fact that he represented Modi's state in Parliament.
"Narendra Modi, jinko party ne desh ke pradhan mantri ke roop mein prastut kiya hai, usi Narendra Modi ne Gujarat pradesh mein, jis Gujarat pradesh se main bhi saansad hoon, main bhi aaj sansad mein pratinidhitiva karta hoon Gujarat pradesh ka, us pradesh ne sabse pehle ye uplabdhi prapt ki koi gaaon na bache Gujarat ka jahan bijli ka prakash sab nagrikon, kisanon ko na pahunch sakey (Narendra Modi, who has been nominated by the party as the prime ministerial candidate, has made Gujarat, the state I represent in Parliament, the first to provide electricity to all citizens, villages and farmers)," he said during his speech.
"Today, if he 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 the speech. 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.