Advani saved Modi's Gujarat CM chair in 2002: Jairam Ramesh

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Deoghar (Jharkhand), Feb 3 (PTI) Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday alleged that BJP stalwart Lal Krishna Advani had saved Narendra Modi's Gujarat CM chair in 2002.

He made the claim before reporters at Mohanpur in Jharkhand's Deoghar on the sidelines of Rahul Gandhi's 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the name of Advani for Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award.

Replying to a query on the conferring of Bharat Ratna on Advani, Ramesh said, "In 2002, Advani ji had saved Narendra Modi. The then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had reminded Modi lesson of 'Raj Dharma' and wanted to remove him from the post of CM. However, only one person saved him and that was Advani (at a BJP meeting) in Goa." Gujarat witnessed deadly communal riots in 2002, when Modi was the chief minister of the western state.

Ramesh claimed Advani also gave a famous statement calling Modi a "brilliant event manager".

"Fast forward to Gandhinagar before the 2014 elections, Advani ji had said that Narendra Modi is not his disciple but a brilliant event manager," Ramesh said.

"When I look at Advani ji and Modi ji, I recall these two things," the senior Congress leader said.

Reacting to Ramesh's remarks, Jharkhand BJP spokesperson Pratul Shahdeo said, "In Modi regime, awards are given on the basis of merit. This government is different from that of Congress, which gave awards only to close associates. Congress leaders are not able to digest the change and are speaking out of frustration." PTI SAN SAN ACD