Mobbed at Guruvayur

via Pioneer News Service | Thrissur published on January 14, 2008

Modi14120080508702.jpgIt was a very personal visit to have darshan of Sri Krishna at the famed Guruvayur temple in Kerala’s Thrissur district but the mediamen did make him talk politics. Though all that Gujarat Chief Minister and BJP’s rising star Narendra Modi wanted in his first visit to God’s Own Country after his party’s historic victory in the State elections was some very discreet moments with the Lord, he was forced to satisfy the newsmen with some prophetic words about the possibilities of an early general election.

And his face full with a proud smile made it clear that he did not dislike the idea of talking some politics provided it was short.

So he obliged saying, “The CPI(M), which enjoys power without responsibility will not push the UPA to go for an early election.”

Modi, who reached Guruvayur on Sunday night, stayed at the Sreevalsam Guest House. But Press cameramen did get their opportunity to grasp the image of the ‘Development Man’ of Gujarat for the morning edition. He had darshan of the Lord at the temple early in the morning. He performed Thulabhara at the temple with lotus flowers. The Chief Minister had to take his characteristic stiff kurta off, as the custom of the Guruvayur temple stipulated, and wrapped himself with a deep-saffron shawl.

On his brief tour of the temple, Modi was accompanied by Thottathil Raveendran, chairman of the Gururvayur Devaswom Committee, a nominee of the CPI(M)-led LDF, State BJP president PK Krishnadas, general secretary MT Ramesh, party’s Thrissur district president Sreesan Adiyatt and others.

Back in the guest house, sitting on the sofa flanked by Krishnadas and Ramesh, Modi talked to the mediamen, starting with an emphatic ‘No’ to a question whether he expected an early general election. The UPA would prefer to delay the polls, he said.

“After the BJP’s victory in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh, the UPA won’t find itself capable of facing the mood of the people,” he said. He also said that the CPI(M) would not drag the UPA into early polls as they were now enjoying power without responsibility. They would try to continue in power for some more time, he said.

A young Left-leaning journalist, who was seeing Modi for the first time, said after the brief chit-chat, “I was having a different picture of the Gujarat strongman till now. But he is a good chap. I think the only firm thing about him is his no-nonsense attitude.”

But once he left for Chennai, speculations began to do the rounds in journos circles as well as on television channels. Despite official assurances that he was going to Chennai for a brief personal visit to AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa, the media immediately began to predict that the visit to Poise Garden was a prelude to a new friendship between the Tamil Nadu party and the BJP. Curiously, State BJP leaders did not refuse or accept the theory. When Chennai reports said Jayalalithaa treated Modi with a Pongal feast, a BJP leader here said, “Please don’t term it Pongal politics.”

However, this leader did not forget to add, “Why don’t you remember that Modi was the third central leader to visit Kerala in three days after Balbir Punj and Rajnath Singh?”

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