Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched Akali Dal leader Parkash Singh Badal's feet as he greeted allies who travelled to Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi for the filing of his election papers on Friday. The gesture left 93-year-old Parkash Singh Badal trending on social media, as BJP leaders and Modi supporters raved at the Prime Minister's gesture.
In a video put out by news agency ANI from an office where leaders of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance had gathered, PM Modi was seen dipping to touch Mr Badal's feet before moving on to other allies like Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, AIADMK's O Panneerselvam and Shiv Sena's Uddhav Thackeray.
"Picture of the year. Before filing nomination at Varanasi, PM @narendramodi touching feet of Prakash Singh Badal for blessings," gushed Amit Rakshit, a BJP leader.
The Prime Minister also touched the feet of 92-year-old Annapurna Shukla, a women's college principal who was one of his proposers for the nomination.
Many drew a contrast with Rahul Gandhi and accused the Congress chief of accepting such gestures from senior leaders instead of giving them respect.
#DeshModiKeSaath— Amith Hegde (@AmithHegde1) April 26, 2019
Today @narendramodi ji touched feet of 93 yrs old Prakash Singh Badal before filing his nomination.
And see what Rahul and Sonia does ,they get their feets touched by their senior leaders !! pic.twitter.com/LOU8WbX7Qs
PM Modi is contesting for the second time from Uttar Pradesh's Varanasi. Yesterday, he held a carnival-like roadshow for which huge crowds turned up on the roads of the temple town. He finished the day with an aarti on the banks of the river Ganga.
This morning, he addressed thousands of BJP workers and visited the "Kaal Bhairav" temple before heading to the nomination centre, where allies were waiting for him.