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Updated: January 10, 2012 04:13 IST

Opposition-ruled States denied funds: Modi

Mohammed Iqbal
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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Chief Ministers of various states at a session on
The Hindu Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi addresses the Chief Ministers of various states at a session on "Global Indian: State initiatives and Opportunities" at 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas conclave in Jaipur on Monday. Photo: Rohit Jain Paras

Country's development in various sectors a result of coordination between States, Centre: Vayalar Ravi

Sparks flew at the 10th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas here on Monday when Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi used a plenary session to censure the United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre for what he described as a “complete neglect” of the States ruled by Opposition parties and denial of funding and resources for their development.

Four Chief Ministers and Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi attended the session on “Global Indian: State initiatives and opportunities” on the concluding day of PBD-2012 to discuss the institutional support offered by them to the non-resident Indians. The session was largely devoted to the theme of India's growth story shifting to the States.

Besides Mr. Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and Jharkhand Chief Minster Arjun Munda addressed the gathering in the central hall of the B.M. Birla Auditorium. Mr. Modi kept aside the copy of his prepared speech in English and launched a scathing attack on the Centre, suggesting that it was only the Congress-ruled States like Rajasthan which got the “blessings” of the Union government, while routine requests from other States failed to elicit any response.

He affirmed that whatever his State had achieved in terms of infrastructure development, affluence and living standards, it was from its own resources. “We are not fortunate enough to get [something] from the Centre or the Prime Minister. We have to do everything on our own.”

“The remarkable development in Gujarat and the double digit GDP growth it has been enjoying for [so many] years was possible because of the ‘think big' approach,” he . “Scale, speed and skills” were the three pillars of this approach that had the potential to make the 21st century the century of India.

Mr. Modi refused to answer a question asked by a Gujarati lawyer, Hashik T. K., settled in Dubai, about the seeming absence of any change in his attitude towards the minorities 10 years after the horrific violence in Gujarat. “Mr. Ravi will respond to this question,” he said shifting the mike to the Union Minister.

The audience was then sternly told that the PBD-2012 was not the appropriate forum for raising any controversial issue or a subject that had no relevance to the persons of Indian origin. Mr. Hashik later told The Hindu that he was disappointed with the Chief Minister's stance of “continually denying justice” to the riot victims, to whom development had not brought any succour.

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