PM chats up with seniorBJP leader on phone


Prime Minister Narendra Modi called a 85-year-old M. Somashekhar Bhat, former president of the erstwhile Udupi Town Municipal Council and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, over telephone on Friday and enquired about his health.

Mr. Bhat was at his residence here when Mr. Modi called him. Mr. Bhat told The Hindu that the call came at around 8.30 a.m. Mr. Modi sought his blessings. He also recalled that Mr. Bhat was associated with RSS leader Yadavrao Joshi. He told him that it was sad that the former Minister and BJP leader V.S. Acharya had passed away so quickly, Mr. Bhat said.

Mr. Bhat said that when he informed Mr. Modi that Udupi district was just three days away from moving out of Orange Zone into a Green Zone with regard to COVID-19, the Prime Minister said that the entire country would unitedly fight the pandemic.

Mr. Bhat said that the State unit of the BJP had sent a list of BJP leaders aged over 80 to the Prime Minister’s Office some days ago. Hence, he had received the call from Mr. Modi on Friday. On Thursday, another senior party leader Urimajalu Ram Bhat received a call from Mr. Modi, he said.

Mr. Bhat said that he told Mr. Modi about his association with the RSS and Jan Sangh. Mr. Bhat spoke about his getting elected as municipal councillor in 1968, the first time the Jan Sangh came to power in the Udupi municipality under the leadership of the former Minister late V.S. Acharya who was the first president of the erstwhile Udupi Town Municipal Council. Mr. Bhat also told Mr. Modi that he had been jailed during Emergency.

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