“Gujarat has become a key driver of India's economic growth”
Identifying Gujarat as perhaps the best example of effective governance and impressive development in India, a congressional report has showered praise on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying the State, under him, has become a key driver of national economic growth.
Gujarat's example is followed by Bihar and its Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, says the latest report of the Congressional Research Service (CRS) on India.
“Perhaps India's best example of effective governance and impressive development is found in Gujarat, where controversial Chief Minister Narendra Modi has streamlined economic processes, removing red tape and curtailing corruption in ways that have made the State a key driver of the national economic growth,” said the report.
An independent and bipartisan wing of Congress, the CRS prepares periodic reports on issues of interest to lawmakers.
The 94-page report was released by the CRS for U.S. lawmakers on September 1, a copy of which was made public by the Federation of American Scientists.
“Seeking to overcome the taint of his alleged complicity in 2002 riots, Mr. Modi has overseen heavy investment in modern roads and power infrastructure, and an annual growth of more than 11 per cent in recent years,” the CRS said.
Gujarat, the CRS said, had attracted major international investors such as General Motors and Mitsubishi and with only five per cent of the country's population, the State now accounted for more than one-fifth of India's exports.
After Gujarat, the report mentions Bihar as a model of good governance and says such examples may have inspired Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati to turn her focus on infrastructure and energy development in her State.
“Another positive example in 2011 has been Bihar, one of India's poorest States, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has won national attention through his considerable success in emphasising good governance over caste-based politics. He is credited with restoring law and order across much of the State, as well as overseeing infrastructure and educational improvements of direct benefit to common citizens' projects,” the report said.
It said Mr. Kumar's Janata Dal (United), in alliance with the BJP, won an overwhelming re-election majority in November 2010 State elections, and the examples set by Mr. Modi and Mr. Kumar might have inspired the popular leader of India's most populous State, Uttar Pradesh.
“Chief Minister Mayawati, who is widely believed to maintain national political ambitions and was at the forefront of a nascent ‘Third Front' in 2009, has shifted her own focus much more towards infrastructure projects such as road-building and improving the State's poor energy grid,” the report said.
The CRS also refers to the ongoing Telangana movement in Andhra Pradesh, and the new Trinamool Congress-Congress rule in West Bengal as its new Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee faces the task of repairing one of India's poorest States.
Reacting to the report, Mr. Modi said this was another recognition for six crore Gujaratis of the State.
He has tweeted: “Another recognition for 6 crore Gujaratis. U.S. report hails Guj's effective governance.”
“Jay Jay Garvi Guj [Hail, Hail Gujarat],” he further said.
In May 2005, Mr. Modi was denied visa by the U.S. after the 2002 post-Godhra riots.