Gujarat ahead of Delhi, says Modi

April 29th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Narendra Modi

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday said his state was ahead of Delhi on economic and developmental parameters, be it in protecting the rights of a girl child or supply of uniterrupted power. “The prime minister (Manmohan Singh) spoke about the need to save the girl child here Monday. In Gujarat we have had a scheme for this for the last two years,” Modi told a gathering of heads of industry at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Speaking about Gujarat’s economic growth during the last decade, he said there was uninterrupted power supply in most parts of his state, something unheard of in Delhi.

Modi won the Gujarat assembly elections in December 2007, third consecutive victory for his Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), mainly on the plank of development.

“Every state has some strengths. This should be studied and the factors behind the strengths should be used to create a healthy atmosphere for development,” he said, highlighting that Gujarat had the highest growth rate in the country at 12 percent.

Political stability, effective policies, people’s participation in development activities, and not letting any controversies to overshadow initiatives were some of the reasons Modi cited for the growth in Gujarat.

“I have coined a new term, ‘rurban’. A place will have rural spirit and all the amenities of a city,” he said of his future plans.

“No state has more land under Special Economic Zones (SEZs) than Gujarat. Yet there was no controversy. This is because I told all the 17 SEZs in my state not to make it property development,” he said, making a reference to people’s protests against land acquisition for such projects in some other states, including West Bengal.

Modi said all villages in Gujarat will by June have access to modern technology like broadband. He also discussed his plans for education, ship-building industry, genetically modified crops and public-private participation.

“Gujarat is a policy-driven state. I do not discriminate between people and give no incentives like other politicians who play populist politics,” he said.

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