When former Congressman Devkanta Baruah glorified the then prime minister Indira Gandhi by saying ‘Indira is India’, it was heavily criticised by the leadership of Jan Sangh (now Bharatiya Janata Party). However, those leaders didn’t have any conception that in future their own party would toe the same line, as Gujarat chief minister’s Narendra Modi emergence on the national scene has exemplified. In the process, party workers seem to have completely forgotten their veteran leader LK Advani who played a key role in its advancement from two seats to 184 in Lok Sabha.

These facts came to the fore yesterday when BJP leader and Maharashtra in-charge Rajiv Pratap Rudy referred to the party workers as ‘NaMo’s sipahi (soldiers)’ while speaking with them in a meeting organised by the BJP city wing.

On the other hand, yoga guru Baba Ramdev who also visited the city yesterday openly supported Modi for the post of prime minister and said that he would back the leader and not his party.

Rudy who was here for the preparation of Modi’s public rally, which is to be held on July 14 in the city, maintained that there is tremendous enthusiasm among party workers after the Gujarat CM being designated the as party’s campaign committee chief for the impending general elections, and because of this they (the workers) have been labelled as ‘soldiers of Modi’. While the BJP core leadership is yet to announce the name of the party’s prime ministerial candidate, Rudy, without taking anyone’s name, said that the party would respect the wishes of its workers.

“Party president Rajnath Singh made the right decision by announcing Modi’s name as the chief of party’s campaign committee. The party would get clear majority under his (Modi’s) leadership,” Rudy said. He also criticised Congress leader Digvijaya Singh’s statement on micro-blogging site Twitter where he connected Modi’s name with Bodh Gaya blasts.

Meanwhile, Baba Ramdev alleged that the government is trying to hatch a conspiracy against Modi by labelling him a conspirator in the Ishrat Jahan encounter case. “The government is using agencies like CBI and IB to malign Modi,” the yoga guru said. He said that he would be extending issue-based support to Modi and not BJP.