Visiting Odisha to pray at the Jagannath temple, Gujarat chief minister and BJP strongman Narendra Modi on Tuesday sought to draw similarities between the two states and also spoke in Oriya, winning applause.
The chief minister thanked the people of Odisha for their contribution to the progress of Gujarat.
"Today in the progress of Gujarat, there is not even a single district of Odisha from where my Oriya brothers have not worked hard for the progress of Gujarat. I thank all my Oriya brothers from the heart for having contributed to the progress of Gujarat," Modi said, speaking in Oriya while reading out from a paper.
Modi, widely seen as the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate, said he travelled to the eastern coastal state to seek the blessings of Lord Jagannath of Puri for himself and his state.
"Gujarat and Odisha have a lot of similarity. Odisha has the Sun Temple in Konark, and when the sun rises in the east, the first rays touch the temple. And when the sun sets in the west, its rays fall on the Sun Temple in Modhera in Gujarat," Modi said.
Earlier Tuesday Modi had tweeted: "I would pray in the Jagannath temple that the Uttarakhand flood victims' souls rest in peace and those missing could be united with their family."
Modi is the BJP poll campaign committee chief, seen as a first step in anointing him as the prime ministerial candidate.