After the recent reported cold war between the two, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday welcomed L.K. Advani who arrived here on his anti-corruption yatra.
Mr. Modi, considered a prime ministerial candidate and who was reportedly upset over Mr. Advani being also in the run for it, got into the bus and garlanded him while receiving him in the State.
However, observers said that the cold vibes between them may not be completely over because Mr. Modi did not take the throne-like seat next to Mr. Advani and sat two chairs away from him. Both were also not seen exchanging words.
“The Congress (leaders) say they are ‘helpless’ about corruption, but I say it is their helplessness and not ours. Fight against corruption will continue, be it through, Anna Hazare, Baba Ramdev or Advaniji. The corrupt government will have to come down,” Mr. Modi said.
Mr. Advani returned the Chief Minister’s compliments lauding him for “good governance” and making the state “corruption—free”. He said that he was overwhelmed by the reception he received in the state.
“Gujarat is the only state in the country, where there is good governance and swaraj. This has been possible under the able leadership of Narendra Modi,” he said.
After Mr. Advani announced the nation-wide yatra, which took his party by surprise, Mr. Modi announced three-day ‘sadbhavna’ fast which observers had seen as a counter to Mr. Advani’s plan.
Still Mr. Advani went to Ahmedabad to express his solidarity with Mr. Modi in his fast. However, Mr. Modi did not attend the BJP National Executive meeting in Delhi and the reason touted was that he was upset over induction of his bête-noire Sanjay Joshi into the Executive by party President Nitin Gadkari.
Mr. Advani also raked up the name of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, with whom Mr. Modi does not share a good relationship.
He said he had often brought the matter of Gujarat’s good governance to the notice of Mr. Kumar.
“When Nitish Kumar was the Railway Minister, I told him to conduct a survey of ticketless passengers and said that the least number of such passengers were bound to be found in Gujarat,” he said.