New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi was formally elected as the leader of the BJP's parliamentary party on Tuesday. Modi, who entered Parliament or its Central Hall for the first time, was highly emotional and for the first time perhaps, the country saw the soft side of a man known for his tough image.
Touching his head to the steps of the temple of democracy, and in the historic Central Hall, where India's democracy lives and breathes, the PM elect gave way to uncharacteristic emotion.
"I request Advaniji not to use the word 'kripa' (favour) for the service I have done for the party. Like this nation is my motherland, BJP too is like my mother," Modi said, breaking down.
We have heard him hectoring crowds, we have heard him lampoon the Opposition, but this was an entirely different Narendra Modi altogether. So far the nation had not heard the strong man's softer side.
Senior leader LK Advani's introduction was equally emotional. "Narendra Modi becoming the nation's PM is a milestone for us," an emotional Advani said.
Now elected the leader of the BJP's parliamentary party, in the presence of the NDA, Modi's body language was dignified, sober and generous. "Every party that has served this nation deserves to be applauded. I thank them all," Modi said.
He said that his was a mandate of hope and not anti-incumbent. Many indeed are looking at him with hope and that is why the poetry of the campaign will have to give way to the prose of governance.