New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Mohan Lal Bauthiyal, who played a significant role when Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, could not believe it when he received a call from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on Wednesday at around 8.26 AM. He was going out for a stroll in his native village Eta in Dugadda block in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district. The caller told him PM Modi wanted to talk to him. Also Read - Nepal Airport Under Renovation Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

He was overjoyed to hear the voice of the prime minister on the other end within seconds of the call from the PMO, who asked him how he was doing. Modi talked to his old associate for nearly three minutes, taking a trip down the memory lane. Also Read - Bangladesh Govt Decides Not to Extend COVID-19 Shutdown

They talked about how they had met during the Pradesh BJP’s working committee meeting at Badrinath in 1998 and then at an election meeting at Shrinagar, Garhwal, in 2014, reported PTI. Modi told Bauthiyal he was talking to him as he had decided to speak to his old friends from Jana Sangh days at these critical times. Also Read - COVID-19 Cases Cross 1.6 Lakh-mark; Death Toll Above 4,600; Shah Speaks to CMs Over Lockdown Extension | Key Points

“It is a great honour for a party worker when the prime minister himself calls him to ask him how he is doing. These are the qualities that have made Modi ji the hero of the masses,” Bauthiyal, who is reckoned among founding leaders of the BJP in Uttarakhand, said.

Bauthiyal joined the Jana Sangh in 1960, the Janata Party in 1970 and the BJP in 1980.

After Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, Bauthiyal held several important party positions, including president of the BJP’s panchayat cell, president of its disciplinary committee besides being a member of the party’s national council.

(With PTI Inputs)