In the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election campaign, Gujarat chief minister and BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Pune visit could turn out to be a big fillip to his prospects.
In a matter of just six hours of his visit, Melody Queen Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar openly supported Modi for the post of prime minister.
Initially, Modi was to attend just one function at Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital but for sending across a political message, a welcome function was organised at a ground near Lohegaon airport where Modi addressed party workers for 21 minutes.
All five Mangeshkar siblings and over 6,000 invitees including the who’s who such as industrialists, political leaders from all parties, lawyers, doctors and bankers were present for the function at the Garware College ground and Modi struck a chord by sending across the message.
It was Lata Mangeshkar who insisted on inviting Modi to inaugurate the Deenanath Mangeshkar Super Speciality Hospital in the memory of her father the late Deenanath Mangeshkar.
Replying to her request letter, which was sent to him six months ago, Modi chose the day of November 1, 2013. This was revealed by none other than Lata Mangeshkar herself.
The coincidence that Atal Behari Vajpayee had inaugurated Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital on November 1, 2001 was mentioned by compere Harish Bhimani and also medical director Dr Dhananjay Kelkar.
Modi, while addressing party workers, criticised the UPA government for not being accountable to the people. He said many states and the country have witnessed various parties including regional parties, Communists, Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule.
He challenged the economists and political pundits to set the parameters and it would easily be proved that whenever BJP ruled in any of the states or at the Centre, it has fulfilled the aspirations of the people. He assured that BJP, if brought to power, would every year present an entire account of its work to the people.
At the Mangeshkar Hospital’s inaugural function, Modi said it was the poor who always suffered during any kind of calamity and blamed the UPA government for increasing poverty in the country.
In his address at the Mangeshkar Hospital despite the fact that Lata Mangeshkar openly expressed her wish that Modi should become prime minister, Modi in his 29-minute address, did not utter a single word in response.