GANDHINAGAR:  As he watched Vijay Rupani start a fresh term as Chief Minister, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was reminded of his own innings at the helm of his home state. PM Modi was Gujarat’s Chief Minister for an uninterrupted 151 months between 2001 and 2014. He was first sent to the state to take over from Keshubhai Patel when he was 51.

PM Modi has kept his links with the people and party workers from Gujarat intact even after he came to Delhi as Prime Minister in 2014. Over the last few weeks, it was PM Modi who was seen to have led the party’s campaign in the state.

PM Modi was back in Gujarat on Tuesday to witness Vijay Rupani take the oath of office for the second time and as he declared on Twitter, to thank the people of Gujarat for giving the BJP this opportunity to serve the state.

“The bond between Gujarat and BJP is extremely special,” he tweeted, promising to “leave no stone unturned in further developing Gujarat”.

PM Modi also pulled out pictures of the four occasions when he was standing in Mr Rupani’s place, taking oath as Chief Minister.

“Attending today’s oath-taking ceremony in Gujarat brought back memories of the ceremonies in 2001, 2002, 2007 and 2012 when I got the opportunity to serve Gujarat as CM,” PM Modi tweeted, along with four photographs from the past.

Like Chief Minister Rupani’s swearing-in ceremony, PM Modi’s ceremonies too were attended by BJP Chief Ministers from other states. But there weren’t many then.

For instance, as compared to the 17 Chief Ministers from NDA-ruled states who made it to Gandhinagar today, there were just three Chief Ministers who attended the ceremony in 2001.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis credited PM Modi for having developed Gujarat a lot during his tenure as chief minister. “Some people were assuming that BJP will not come back after Modi left the state as prime minister. But it is a matter of immense pleasure that the BJP managed around 50 per cent vote,” Mr Fadnavis said.