‘The six crore people of Gujarat would not tolerate any attempt to defame the State'

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked the critics of the State to stop their vilification campaign and become partners in the progress of the State, and in turn of the country, instead of trying to block the developmental activities.

Speaking after hoisting the national tricolour at Nadiad, the birth place of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, to celebrate the 65th Independence Day, Mr. Modi, without naming the Congress leaders, said the six crore people of Gujarat would not tolerate any attempt to defame the State and advised them not to side with the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government at the Centre which was leaving no stone unturned to come in the way of Gujarat's progress.

Mr. Modi enumerated the developmental measures being taken in the State, and announced that the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda next year would be celebrated as the “year of the youth power” during which about 25 lakh youths in the State would be provided with training in various professional skills while about 60,000 youths would be employed in the government jobs.

Mr. Modi claimed that Gujarat was the only State which maintained balance between industrial and agricultural growth.

He said that while the growth rate in the agricultural sector in the country had come to a dead stop, for which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh too had expressed concern, Gujarat maintained a healthy growth rate of 10 per cent in the last decade in the agricultural sector.

He said it was a known fact that industrial growth tend to stop the agricultural growth, but his government did not allow it to happen in Gujarat. He said even as industries grew in the State, the hard-working farmers in the State succeeded in bringing additional 8,00,000 hectares of land under cultivation in the last decade.

For the women, he said, the government intended to create more income opportunities under its “Mission Mangalam” which already was providing an additional income of over Rs. 1,000 through some two lakh “Sakhi Mandalis” formed by rural women.

Strongly criticizing those who were opposing industrialization in the State, Mr. Modi said that even in the creation of job opportunities through industrial development, the State was far ahead of all other States in the country.

According to him, Gujarat alone had a share of 59 per cent of the entire job opportunities created in the country while all other States together had the share of the remaining 41 per cent.