With Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress President Rahul Gandhi making simultaneous appearances in Kerala, BJP and Congress cadres heard their leaders in a mood vastly different from the rancour of not-too-distant elections.
While Gandhi's three-day visit to Kerala is aimed at kickstarting the Congress' plans for the upcoming local bodies and Assembly elections, Modi made the state his first stop post Lok Sabha elections to offer prayers at Guruvayoor's Sree Krishna temple.
The Prime Minister said some would have wondered why he chose the southern state for his first trip despite the BJP "not opening its account" from there in Parliament. "But an elected leader is common to all. I don't differentiate between my countrymen. For me, the people of Kerala are as much my own, as the people of Varanasi," he said.
After offering prayers at the Guruvayoor temple, Modi addressed a rally near the temple grounds. Thousands of BJP workers turned up for the rally.
"We came around 8 a.m. to get a vantage position to hear the Prime Minister," said a group of young men.
BJP worker P.S.Sreedharan Pillai came to attend Modi's rally from Thrissur. "What he's saying is right. Look at the past five years of Modi -- he has seen the entire nation as one, irrespective of party affiliations. He hasn't differentiated between states," said Pillai.
"We are a government which does not distinguish between those who voted for us and those who did not. We see all the 120 crore people of India as one and that's the highlight of this new government," Modi said amidst loud cheers.
While the BJP failed to open its account in Kerala, the Congress-led UDF won 19 out of the state's 20 Lok Sabha seats, with one going to the CPI-M.
The Congress President, meanwhile, held a roadshow in Wayanad to "thank" the voters for having given him the biggest win in the state.
In his speech delivered after the roadshow, Gandhi sounded combative. "Modi won by spreading lies and hatred but the Congress will deal him with truth, love and affection, he told his supporters."
Former state Congress President V.M. Sudheeran told IANS: "For a while after the results came out Gandhi was keeping a low profile. But from the response that he is getting here, I am quite certain Gandhi will return as a new person."
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)