Modi pits hard work against Harvard

Modi pits hard work against Harvard

Taking a dig at Finance Minister P Chidambaram by mocking him as “recounting minister”, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Monday said India needs hard-working people, not “Harvard-educated” people.

“The finance minister thinks there is no one more intelligent than him. 'Recounting minister' might come from Harvard, but I came from hard work. I studied in a small village and hail from a poor family. Let us see whether a nation is built by hard work or Harvard,” he said.

Modi's remarks follow Chidambaram's recent interview to a television channel, in which he had mocked Modi's knowledge of economics. “What he (Modi) knows about economics can be written on the back of a postage stamp,” Chidambaram had said.

“Only if you put a postal stamp, is the letter delivered. I proved myself through deliveries,” said Modi. Addressing a massive public rally at Vandalur on the outskirts of Chennai, Modi claimed that during the previous BJP-led government at the Centre, headed by Vajpayee, the country's growth rate was 8.06 per cent.

“As per your (Chidambaram) estimates, the GDP rate for 2012-13 is only 4.5 per cent. Every Indian can see what you have achieved by your economist knowledge,” he said.

“Intelligent 'recounting minister', in 2001 when I became the chief minister of Gujarat, the state's GDP was minus 4 per cent. Between 2001 and 2011-12, India grew by 7.6 per cent but Gujarat grew by 10.1 per cent,” said Modi. “This is double-digit growth.” Modi claimed that the country's unemployment rate is  2.2 per cent, whereas in Gujarat the rate is only 0.5 per cent.

“The Congress has failed to create jobs, and people have started losing jobs. Dear finance minister, knowledge of economy does not come from books alone. What is needed is good governance. This is what development is. The country is steered by hard work and not Harvard degree,” he said.

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