Chennai: Mocking union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram as “recounting minister”, BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Saturday said the nation could be led by hard work and not by Harvard degrees.
Speaking at a huge public rally held by BJP at Vandalur near here, Modi, without naming Chidambaram but addressing him by his designation, called him “recounting minister” in reference to his victory from Sivaganga only after a recount during the 2009 general elections.
“There is one union minister from Tamil Nadu who won the elections after recounting. He was defeated in the first counting. That minister thinks that God gave the brains to him first ahead of others,” he said.
Recalling Chidambaram’s comments that Modi’s knowledge of economy can be written on a postage stamp, the Gujarat chief minister quipped that a letter can be delivered only if it is stamped.
“I have proved myself with my delivery,” he said.
Modi said the Congress government is headed by noted economist Manmohan Singh, while the finance minister also considers himself as an economist and thinks that there is no one more intelligent than him.
“Mr.finance minister, the recounting minister, you have come from Harvard University, but I come from hard work. I studied in a small village and hail from a poor family. Let us see whether a nation is built by hard work or Harvard,” he said.
He said during the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the gross domestic product (GDP) growth was over eight percent.
“Mr.Recounting Minister, as per your own estimates, the GDP growth for 2012-13 is only 4.6 percent,” Modi mocked.
“In 2001 when I became the Gujarat chief minister, the state GDP was minus four percent. Between 2001 and 2011-12, India grew by 7.6 percent but Gujarat grew by 10.1 percent,” Modi said.
Noting the nation’s liability is Rs.50 lakh crore, nearly half of the country’s total income, he attributed it “to the work of great economists” in the government.
“So Mr.Recounting Minister from Chennai’s soil, you have destroyed the Indian economy,” Modi said.
Citing the latest survey by National Sample Survey Organisation, he said India’s unemployment rate is 2.2 percent where as in Gujarat, the unemployment rate is only half percent.
“The Congress has failed creating jobs and people have started losing jobs. Dear finance minister, knowledge of economy does not come from books alone. What is needed is good governance. This is what development is. Country is steered by hard work and not by a Harvard degree,” Modi said.