Modi’s remarks trigger a row

Kerala has the best human development record in the country: Chandy

Updated - May 12, 2016 05:48 am IST

Published - May 12, 2016 12:00 am IST - THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comparison of Kerala with Somalia appears to be boomeranging on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) with the entire political spectrum latching on to it to mount a scathing attack on the Prime Minister and the BJP.

Leading the assault on the Prime Minister and BJP at successive election campaign meetings here on Wednesday, Mr. Chandy accused the Prime Minister of having forgotten that Kerala was also a State of the Union. There was no basis for the Prime Minister’s remark.

Kerala, he said, had the best human development record in the country and this had been lauded by experts across the world.

Elsewhere, Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president V.M. Sudheeran came down heavily on the Prime Minister, blaming him of having spoken without any understanding of the ground reality.

CPI(M) flays Modi

From the Opposition, CPI(M) Polit Bureau members Pinarayi Vijayan and M.A. Baby also came out strongly against Mr. Modi accusing him of having humiliated both the people of Kerala and Somalia. In their Facebook posts, Mr. Vijayan and Mr. Baby wondered how Mr. Modi could compare Kerala with Somalia given the State’s well-documented achievements in human development and comparative backwardness of his own State Gujarat and the country as a whole.

While Mr. Vijayan pointed out that Kerala’s health care infrastructure was strong and its achievements admirable by any reckoning despite the United Democratic Front (UDF) government doing its best to undo the gains of the past, Mr. Baby said the Prime Minister’s words smacked of contempt for the black people of Somalia. It did not behove the Prime Minister to disgrace the people of another country with such racist remarks, Mr. Baby said.

‘State has the best CDI’

Mr. Vijayan pointed out that the average HDI value of the State is 0.825 while it was only 0.609 for the country as a whole and 0.599 for Gujarat. The IMR in Kerala is only 12, against the national average of 40 and Gujarat’s 36. Kerala has the best Child Development Index (CDI). Mr. Modi should have thought of his own State’s state of affairs before comparing Kerala with Somalia, he said.

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