Kolkata, Jan 21: Amid speculation that he was cosying up to the BJP, Trinamool Congress leader and former railway minister Dinesh Trivedi Wednesday yet again described Narendra Modi as a "friend" who was doing good work, but that one should not read too much into his praise of the prime minister.
Attending an event in Gujarat alongside Modi's brother Somabhai Modi earlier this week, Trivedi had heaped praises on the prime minister.
His repeated applause of Modi since then has led to discussion that the Lok Sabha member from Barrackpore could be in line to cross over to the Bharatiya Janata Party.
"If you praise somebody who is doing good work, I don't think we should read too much between the lines. In future what happens, I don't know," Trivedi said Wednesday.
"I've known... now he is prime minister, but for me, he is always a friend. Whether he is prime minister or not prime minister, it doesn't matter to me. I have looked upon Narendra Modi as a friend.
"And I've looked upon somebody who has a vision, somebody who means good for the people, good for the country, somebody who is very patriotic. So what else do you need?" said Trivedi, who was unceremoniously dumped as the railway minister in 2012 by party supremo Mamata Banerjee for proposing a hike in passenger fares.
However, last year he was renominated as a Trinamool candidate from Barrackpore and won by a handsome margin.
Trivedi said he was not into petty politics of individuals, rather into the bigger picture.
"Time has come when we need to forget about the negativity of politics. I have a bigger picture of the country in my eyes. I am not into petty politics of Mamata Banerjee or Narendra Modi or this or that. I want politics of India," he said.
Trivedi's comments came close on the heels of Manjul Krishna Thakur, a minister in the Banerjee government, joining the BJP.