KANPUR (TIP): Prime ministerial candidate of BJP Narendra Modi touched the feet of senior party leader and candidate from Kanpur Lok Sabha seat MM Joshi on the dais to douse any doubt of chasm between the two leaders. Modi also offered the tallest chair on the stage, earmarked for him, to the veteran leader.
He then overrode latter’s reservations and ensured that Joshi occupied it. Modi’s attempt to indicate Joshi’s high stature in the party despite his being the prime ministerial candidate surprised many party leaders. A leader of party’s Kanpur unit said, “Many of us are surprised with Modi touching Joshi’s feet. We never expected this. It was a rare scene. But this proves that there is no leader like Modi in party who is taking along everybody along.”Modi’s action came in wake of the ongoing controversy over Modi-Joshi differences.
Joshi had stoked the controversy on Sunday by denying any Modi wave in the country. He had also said that the Gujarat model of development cannot be implemented across all states. Affronted by his comments, party workers had been continuously raising pro-Modi slogans during Joshi’s campaign in city. In a bid to control the damage arising out of Modi-Joshi chasm, the party had put up a hoarding in the city showing Joshi and Modi hugging each other.
In reply, Joshi supporters had put up billboards with slogans like ‘Ab Ki Bar BJP Sarkar’ instead of ‘Ab Ki Bar Modi Sarkar’. While Joshi campaigned in the city on Wednesday and Thursday, Modi supporters chanted ‘Har Har Modi’ slogans and ensured that the entire campaign is Modi chant. Under such circumstances, Modi touching feet of Joshi and paying him respect on the rally dias before the huge crowd is an attempt from the side of the former to reduce the split.