– V.N. Balakrishna | September 24, 2013
Ahmedabad | When actress Mallika Sherawat cooed recently in a deliberately suggestive way tweeting her video to convey her birthday ‘best wishes’ to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi it certainly took the Twitterati by surprise. “I want to send a birthday wish to the most eligible bachelor in India. Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday Narendraji, Happy birthday Narendra Modiji, Happy birthday Narendraji,” she said in her dulcet voice.
It is not known if Modi savored this unusual birthday greetings from the controversy queen and a scorching silver screen Bollywood diva, but his 63rd birthday was not without its poignant moments even without Mallika chirping in with her birthday ballad. There were Modi detractors watching every move of his and waiting to spin a yarn around a tale even if a tale was meant to be missing. 2014 elections to Lok Sabha is round the corner and as the nation yearns for change, and a dramatic one at that, to see an end to the nine long years of Congress rule mired in scams and nepotism, there seems to be knives out in the open for Modi. So Modi’s anointment and birthday came tantalizingly close to being embroiled in controversy even though a curtain-raiser was getting ready for a man whom Mallika called as “the most eligible bachelor.” Ironically if this bachelor gets the top post the country can offer to any politician it could prove Mallika prophetic.
But the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate had some anxious moments to face concerning his personal integrity when Nawab Malik of the Nationalist Congress Party, a Congress ally at the Centre, noticed something so strange as to call Modi’s personal integrity into question. It was when the BJP’s former president Nitin Gadkari gifted Modi a necklace at a function after being anointed as a PM candidate that Malik cried foul as hoarsely as he could.
He claimed Gadkari had given a necklace laced with pearls and diamonds. ”The necklace must cost a fortune what with pearls and diamonds studded all over. We want to know what its value is. Is it Rs. 50 crore, Rs. 5 crore, Rs. 50 lakh or Rs. 5?” Malik wanted to know.
Before a chorus could be orchestrated by the like-minded supporters of Malik BJP promptly came clean showing what the necklace was really worth. It was a mere trinket embedded with a lotus insignia and available anywhere for as little as Rs. 100. No wonder Modi’s detractors to keep him off balance relish biting mouthfuls even if it means they cannot swallow.