"Modi was the first leader who has taken development into rural areas of Gujarat. He played a big role in developing Gujarat from where I have been elected an MP," Advani said here to wild clapping.
Advani was speaking after dedicating a 500 MW thermal power plant in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state.
Advani said Gujarat Chief Minister Modi as well as Shivraj Singh of Madhya Pradesh and Raman Singh of Chhattisgarh had taken economic development into their rural hinterland.
He said he was proud "to see their achievement and success".
This was Advani's first public comment on Modi since the Gujarat chief minister was Sep 13 named the prime ministerial candidate of BJP despite his (Advani's) opposition.
Advani praised Raman Singh and said Chhattisgarh had seen "tremendous development" since it was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in 2000.
He advised the Chhattisgarh government to focus on education and health sectors and also urged students to keep themselves updated with changes in the IT sector.