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Modi makes up with Advani

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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi proceeding to visit L.K.Advani at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday.photo Rajeev Bhatt
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi proceeding to visit L.K.Advani at his residence in New Delhi on Tuesday.photo Rajeev Bhatt

Hardliner Narendra Modi, the main opposition BJP's frontman for next year's elections, held fence-mending talks with the party's elder statesman L.K. Advani on Tuesday after a fallout with his former mentor.

Advani, an 85-year-old stalwart of the Bharatiya Janata Party, quit the party last week hours after Modi was picked to head the party's election committee.

He was later persuaded to rescind his resignation but his return to the fold did little to counter the impression the party is badly split with less than a year before nationwide elections must take place.

Closed door meeting

The two men spoke for an hour behind closed doors, said an AFP photographer outside Advani's residence in New Delhi.

A source close to Advani told the Press Trust of India they had a "good meeting", debating strategy after a partner quit the opposition alliance at the weekend.

The Janata Dal United (JDU) pulled out of the BJP-led alliance saying it feared Modi's anti-Muslim image could scare off voters.

PM candidate

Modi, currently the Chief Minister of Gujarat in western India, is likely to be tapped as the candidate for the prime minister's post should his party win elections.

Pro-business reformist

Modi has taken pains to paint himself as a pro-business reformist who can revive the fortunes of the world's largest democracy.

But he remains a divisive figure nationally after being accused of doing little to stop religious riots in his state in 2002 in which some 2,000 people -- mainly Muslims -- were killed.


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