Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad: BJP's Khanpur office in city was an address that played key role in PM's journey

Narendra Modi on Sunday will visit the BJP's Khanpur office in Ahmedabad, on his arrival at the city. The office was earlier the Gujarat BJP headquarters, and Modi had stayed here for a long time during his days as the general secretary of the party's state unit.

In 2012, Narendra Modi, then Gujarat chief minister, had returned to power in the state. Outside the BJP office in Khanapur, amid slogans like "ek mat gujarat, bhajap sarkaar" (Gujarat will vote as one for the Bharatiya Janata Party), there was a slogan of "PM-PM". In that election, the BJP had won 116 out of 182 seats, while the Congress won 60 seats. Modi, in his speech after the victory, had spoken about dreaming big, and about the determination to realise the dream of a transformed India.

 Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad: BJPs Khanpur office in city was an address that played key role in PMs journey

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Reuters

He had punched holes in the conventional wisdom of Delhi-based political pundits and had emphasised on his development model. “The entire election was fought on the plank of development. Gujarat has endorsed the plank of development and has voted accordingly,” he said.

Modi went on to say that the victory did not belong to him, but to six crore Gujaratis and Indians who aspire for prosperity and development. At this speech, the chants of "Delhi-Delhi" didn’t leave much to the imagination about Modi's plans. This was before his speeches as a prime ministerial candidate took the national media by storm, the first of these being the speech he delivered at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit, where representatives of more than 121 countries were in attendance.

Yet another significant event which took place at the Khanpur office was the speech that Modi delivered after being elected as chief minister in 2007. Back then, the "Modi-Modi" chant was first made by the crowd at a rally held in front of the office. Keeping the national audience in mind, Modi had spoken in Hindi.

In March 1995, former Gujarat chief minister Keshubhai Patel, along with Modi and Shankar Singh Vaghela, had worked together to mobilise grassroots workers to tilt the balance in favour of the BJP in the state, and get the party its first major political win in March 1995. However, after a split in the BJP camp, when Vaghela took 45 MLAs to Khajuraho before the vote of confidence in September 1995, Modi was shifted to Delhi. He got the opportunity to interact with the central leadership, which took note of his perseverance.

Khanpur is a part of the old city of Ahmedabad, and is a Muslim-dominated locality. The Gujarat BJP had shifted its office from Khadia to Khanpur, in 1984. When Modi moved from the RSS to the BJP in 1987, he began living in this office and stayed there till 1995.

Initially, the office was just one room, which was later enlarged to two rooms. Later, a portion of the upper floor, and then the entire upper floor, were constructed. All this happened in a span of 19 years.

In those years, Modi, it is reported, would visit all major newspaper offices in Ahmedabad. These offices were located nearby, and the Gujarat Samachar's office was bang opposite the BJP's office. Modi, in those years, was known for having maintained good relations with the media and introducing new technology in the BJP office.

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Updated Date: May 26, 2019 18:11:38 IST