New Delhi, Aug. 16: Union Cabinet Minister of Commerce and Industry and Textiles Anand Sharma on Friday labelled Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as ‘a national embarrassment’, alleging that he is boasting about false claims and figures with regard to development in his state.
“Narendra Modi may be an asset to the BJP but he is a national embarrassment. I can say that without hesitation. He is boastful (and) makes tall claims about the development model of Gujarat, where the social indices speak for themselves,” Sharma said.
Pointing to numbers, Sharma said that Gujarat has the highest rate of dropouts from schools, a very high level of malnutrition deaths as compared to other neighboring states, and scarce availability of safe drinking water, amongst other problematic areas.
Rubbishing the much talked about ‘Gujarat model of governance, which bases itself on attracting industrial growth, Sharma said that the state did not feature amongst the top magnets to FDI in the country.
“When it comes to states, Gujarat is definitely not in the number one position. Contrary to that, it is Maharashtra, which has attracted USD 67 billion of FDI in these 13 years. Thereafter, it is Delhi-not only Delhi numbers but the connecting areas of Haryana, UP-it is about USD 36 billion. Andhra and Karnataka are ahead, so is Tamil Nadu. Gujarat is less than USD 9 billion. It is a matter of fact and record. Therefore, the claims as such are false,” Sharma said.
Sharma also questioned Modi on the policy front, saying that the Gujarat Chief Minister has not addressed economic, international and geo-strategic issues.
“A person who is boastful and brags about achievements which are actually not there has to be judged in that light. He is not an individual, who has shown that he has any compassion, any humility, any comprehension of economic issues, international issues or geo-strategic issues. It is not for us to say, good luck to the party which thinks that he is valuable to them,” he said.
Additionally, Sharma felt that it was unfortunate that Modi politicized the Prime Minister’s address at the Red Fort, and said that it did not do anything positive to the prestige of the top position.
“What has been said by the Chief Minister of Gujarat is in very poor taste. He has dragged the political discourse to such a low depth that it is difficult to respond to him, in his language. This is not part of our culture. Humility and dignity have not touched Narendra Modi, otherwise he would have refrained from saying what he has said,” Sharma said.
“This exposes him more than endearing him to the people. The people of this country do not expect political leaders to use such language and insult institutions; the Prime Minister’s position is an institution. On Independence Day to say such things is actually not doing anything positive to the prestige of the institution,” he added.
Sharma also used the occasion to point out the successful economic policies of the UPA tenure saying that USD 273 billion has come into the country in FDI, under the present government. Under the NDA, he said, FDI in the country amounted to less than USD 30 billion.
On Thursday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi used his Independence Day address at Bhuj to criticize Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s Red Fort speech made on August 15. (ANI)