Ready for open debate with Modi on Gujarat model: Manish Tewari

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi needs to answer over his state’s human rights record, Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari said Thursday and challenged Modi to an “open debate” over his state’s governance model.

    Support TwoCircles

    “Where does he (Modi) stand on the basis of human rights? The test of governance is how you treat your minorities, and not the majority community.. His human rights record is wanting. He should answer that,” said Tewari, who never misses a chance to take pot shots at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) strongman.

    “I am ready for an open debate (with Modi) on the governance model of Gujarat.. at a time and place of his choosing.. He is the chief minister of a state, and I am a central minister. If he feels the Gujarat model is something to be proud of, let us have a debate on the development indices,” he said.

    Modi, who has been made the BJP’s poll campaign chief for the 2014 general elections, is widely seen as the party’s prime ministerial candidate. He has been speaking on his state’s governance model and Gujarat’s high GDP growth.

    However, there has been criticism of the human development indices of his state, including nutrition levels of children, women and young girls.

    “Except for concessions given to capitalists in Gujarat, he will be found wanting on development indices,” said Tewari.

    Taking another dig at Modi and the BJP, the Congress leader said if Modi’s Gujarat model is so great then why is it that another BJP chief minister, Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan “is not ready to hang his photographs” in BJP propaganda posters at the launch of his ‘Jan Ashirwad Yatra’ roadshow in the state.

    BJP leader L.K Advani on June 1, in apparent criticism of Modi, had said Gujarat had been comparatively well developed when Modi became chief minister in 2001. But Chouhan had inherited a poor state and he deserved more credit for his state’s development.