Gandhinagar । BJP chief Amit Shah’s nomination filing turned out to be a show of strength by the NDA, with major allies Shiv Sena and Shiromani Akali Dal pitching for another term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Shah, at the helm of affairs here at a public meeting at Sardar Patel Chowk, was praised by all the leaders as people thronged the street for a glimpse of their leader during a huge road show.
The road show ended at Prabhat Chowk area of Ghatlodia after which Shah left for Gandhinagar to file the nomination papers. The seat was represented since 1998 by BJP veteran L.K. Advani who was this time denied a ticket.
SAD chief and former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was the first to reach the dias followed by Shah, who greeted him by touching his feet.
Shah also gave a rousing welcome to Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Lok Janshakti Party chief Ram Vilas Paswan and hugged them while showing victory sign as the crowds cheered “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Modi-Modi”.
Many youngsters were seen wearing T-shirts that read “NaMo Again” and “Mai Bhi Chowkidar” while women wore sarees printed in the design of BJP’s flag colours.
Shah, contesting his first Lok Sabha election, said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was united and would form a government again at the centre.
In his speech, Thackeray showered praise on Modi and hit out at opposition parties and said that the differences between the BJP and Sena have ended.
He said it was Hindutva and nationalism that had brought the two parties together again.
“There were differences but they have been overcome. All the controversies have come to an end. Hindutva and nationalism are the ideological core of both the parties,” he said to cries of “Bharat Mata ki Jai”.
“There are 56 opposition parties which have joined hands but their hearts have not yet met. We have one leader. Who is your leader? Who will be your Prime Minister? Everybody is an aspirant there and infighting has already begun for the post,” he said.
Badal too heaped praise on Modi for his decisive nature and also on Shah for his organisational abilities.
“Under Modi’s leadership, the security of the country is intact. With surgical strikes and then aerial strikes, he has taken the name of India high. The biggest thing was there was no casualty to our forces in the operation. He has crushed militancy effectively,” Badal said.
He described Shah as “the world’s biggest organiser”.
On the occasion, Paswan slammed the opposition and declared that Modi would return to power again.
He said that he used to hold the world record for the biggest victory margin on a Lok Sabha seat but wished that Shah breaks all previous records while winning the Gandhinagar seat.