The spectre of Modi followed BJP veteran Murali Manohar Joshi — from Kashi to Kanpur.
A file photo of BJP senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi addressing the media at his residence in New Delhi. (HT photo/Vipin Kumar)
Arriving in Kanpur on Friday amid chants of Har-Har-Modi-Ghar-Ghar-Modi, Joshi said — without taking the name of his rival and Union coal minister Shri Prakash Jaiswal of the Congress — “I would better be dead than a beiman mantri (a dishonest minister).”
“I never thought I will be contesting from Kanpur, the epicentre of the coal scam I had exposed. I am elated,” he said, calling corruption the hallmark of the UPA government.
Telling party workers at Shikshak Park where he was formally launched as the BJP’s candidate from Kanpur, he said he was a true warrior against corruption.
He claimed that as chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, he didn’t spare anyone, “be it the top generals or the Tatas or the Ambanis. None of them could escape me”.
Although he said that he didn’t believe in making tall promises, Joshi announced that he wished to free Kanpur from corruption and criminals, as he had done in Varanasi, a city known for terrorism and crime.
Finally, to shrug off the outsider tag, he recounted his days in Kanpur as a Jansangh leader and made sure that the local leaders are in good humour by letting them speak before him.
However, Joshi disappointed BJP workers by refusing to visit the party office on the day of his launch.
Not only did he break the tradition of going to the party office, Joshi also called off his scheduled meeting with local campaign managers.