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Posted at: May 15, 2019, 7:31 AM; last updated: May 15, 2019, 12:45 PM (IST)

Modi meets old aides in Chandigarh, gets nostalgic

Sandeep Rana
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 14

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who remained a ‘kshetriya sangathan mantri’ here from 1995 to 2000, turned nostalgic during his visit to the city for an election rally today.

Besides sharing his connect with the city, he also caught up with his old colleagues. During his stint here, Modi used to live in Sector 7, Panchkula, and frequented the party office, Kamalam, in Sector 33 here.

“I have lived with you in Chandigarh. As much as you know me, nobody else does,” Modi told to a cheering crowd as he spoke from the dais at a jam-packed Sector 34 ground. The BJP leader outlined his personal and emotional association with the city and its people.

After the rally, he posted on his Twitter handle, “Coming back to Chandigarh is about several memories and familiar faces. After today’s rally, I met Madan ji, who was an integral part of the BJP office when I lived here. Enquired about his health and well-being. Happy to see the same level of passion and positivity in him.” Modi recalled that from arranging tea to ensuring a neat and well-organised workspace for party workers and office-bearers, Madan handled everything with a remarkable efficiency.

Madan was thrilled to meet Modi again.

Party leaders said Madan used to be a chowkidar-cum-attendant at Kamalam and used to serve and take care of Modi. The PM also enquired about the well-being of his other old mates.

Sources said in a lighter vein, Modi asked BJP leader Raj Kishore, at whose residence he used to put up then, “kya baat baal safed ho gaye…Raju oh tu treasurer ban gaya.”

He reminded city BJP vice-president Hari Shankar Mishra that they had got him contest the MC elections during those days. He also spoke to BJP leader Raghubir Lal Arora, who is known to him since nineties. The PM told him that he met his children in France. He met his old associates at the rally venue.

Meanwhile, city BJP president Sanjay Tandon said, “This exhibits the sentiments with which he (Modi) meets party workers. Though he has reached such a high position from a being a kshetriya sanghtan mantri here, he speaks to common people so well.”


PM had nothing to talk about Kher, says Bansal

Congress candidate Pawan Bansal said even PM Narendra Modi knew about ‘non-performance’ of MP Kirron Kher due to which he did not make any mention of her during an election rally here. Bansal said Modi had nothing to talk about Kher during his speech. “It shows that Kirron Kher’s tenure was a disappointment for city residents and she failed to do anything for the development of the city,” the Congress candidate said. City Congress president Pardeep Chhabra termed the rally as a flop show. He added, “They even brought people from Punjab and Haryana but still the rally was a flop event.”

Sidelights

  • “Dekho dekho kaun aaya, Bharat Mata ka sher aaya”. This was the slogan BJP leader Ramvir Bhatti raised from dais while asking people to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi
  • Few women were in attire with BJP colours and symbols
  • As Modi arrived on stage, people in the crowd switched on the flashlights of their phones to welcome him
  • During his address, Modi had to pause several times as crowds shouted ‘Modi, Modi’. On one occasion, the PM had to say, “Ab main bolu kya.” The crowd responded with a cheer.
  • A number of school buses were parked on the rear of the Sector 34 market. The buses were used by BJP leaders to ferry people to the rally venue

Traffic woes

Traffic was diverted from roads leading to the rally venue in Sector 34, putting commuters to inconvenience. People had to take a detour to reach their destinations. Long queues of vehicles were seen on the road separating Sector 34 and 21.

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