In a speech of acceptance at the Central Hall of Parliament, the Prime Minister-designate fought back tears, referred to his humble origins and said his rise was ‘proof of the strength of our constitution’
New Delhi: Known for his ‘strong’ leader image, Narendra Modi yesterday turned emotional and broke down while accepting his election as the leader of BJP Parliamentary Party. The Prime Minister-designate choked and had to take water before regaining his composure after a brief time.
HAPPY TEARS: Modi choked up and stopped his speech to drink water during his inaugural appearance in the round, colonial-era building.
Modi also bowed, with his forehead touching the stairs, to register his high respect for what he called the ‘temple of democracy’. After accepting the greetings of senior BJP leaders outside the Parliament, Modi touched the ground of the entrance with folded hands. “I visited the Gujarat Chief Minister’s chamber for the first time when I became the Chief Minister. I entered the Gujarat Assembly for the first time after I became the Chief Minister. I have come here also for the first time,” the 63-year-old said later in the historic Central Hall of Parliament.
Speaking after being elected as the leader of BJP Parliamentary Party, he described Parliament as the ‘temple of democracy’ for which he has immense respect. Hailing India’s democracy, Modi said his elevation to the high post was a reflection of how a common man could aspire and achieve big goals.
“It is proof of the strength of our constitution that a man from a poor family is standing here today,” said Modi, who sold tea on a railway platform as a child before entering politics. “A new hope has arisen in the common man. This is the biggest significance of this election results. At the end of the day for whom is the government? It is for the poor,” he said. Modi touched L K Advani’s feet, seeking his blessings.
Tears of joy?
Ironically, Modi was over come with emotion while speaking about his erstwhile nemesis LK Advani. “Advaniji ne ek shabd kahaa. Main Advanji se prarthnaa karoonga ki woh iss shabd kaa istmaal naa kare. Uunhone kaha ki Narendra bhai ne kripa ki (Advaniji said that I have done a favour to BJP. I will request him not to use this term),” Modi said and broke down.
He was refering to the comments made by Advani earlier while hailing Modi. Advani, along with other party leaders and newly-elected MPs watched on as Modi regained his composure after a brief while and resumed his speech. “Kyaa maa ki seva kabhi kripa ho sakti hai? Katai nahin ho sakti hai. Jaise Bharat meri maa hai, waise hi BJP bhi meri maa hai.
Aur is liye beta kabhi maa par kripa nahin karta, sirf samarpit bhav se maa ki sewa karta hai (Can a son do any favour by serving the mother? Not at all. Like India, BJP is also my mother. A son never does any favour. He only serves the mother in a dedicated manner),” he said and broke down.
Modi also credited party seniors and past generations of BJP leaders for the spectacular victory. “Had Atal Behari Vajpayee been well, his presence would have been like ‘sone par suhaga’ (icing on the cake),” he said.