BJP president Rajnath Singh on Wednesday made a comparison of Narendra Modi to veteran socialist leader Karpoori Thakur saying the party's prime ministerial candidate has humble roots like him.
The BJP president highlighted the simplicity as well as greatness of veteran socialist leader Karpoori Thakur while addressing a BJP function to observe birth anniversary of the former Bihar Chief Minister.
Profusely praising the simplicity of Thakur who hailed from backward caste and avoided any show of luxury despite being the Bihar CM in 1977, Singh said, "BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi also belongs to extremely backward caste and shares a similar poor background." "His (Modi) life has never been a bed or roses but one full of thorns," he said, and lauded party for selecting him as its PM candidate for 2014 elections.
Singh took an apparent dig at Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal for indulging in "political branding of simplicity".
"Now a fashion has come to highlight ones simplicity... mein aap loge ke beech ka hun (I am from masses)... this is nothing but political branding of simplicity for seeking votes," Singh said.
"Karpoori Thakur never indulged in political branding of his simplicity," he said apparently pooh poohing Kejriwal and his AAP party.
Praise of Karpoori Thakur is seen as an attempt by the BJP to gain support of backward castes in Bihar in the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD President Lalu Prasad both hailing from backward castes consider Thakur as their ideals.
Singh also narrated a story that when Thakur was marrying his daughter in a simple manner, many of his political colleagues proposed to help him financially but he rejected the offer saying it was the marriage of the daughter of a man Karpoori Thakur and not the Chief Minister of that name.
With former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, leader of opposition in state Assembly Nand Kishore Yadav, bureaucrat-turned BJP leader R K Singh on dias, Singh said through his hard work Narendra Modi has transformed Gujarat as a "model" state which has been appreciated world over.
Sushil Modi sought Bharat Ratna for Karpoori Thakur.
Later, the BJP president garlanded a statue of former state party leader Navin Kishore Prasad Sinha.