Modi rejects Chidambaram's jibe

Taking a dig at Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram’s “postal stamp size economic knowledge” jibe, BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi on Thursday remarked that his understanding can be defined merely in a word, “trustee”, borrowed from Mahatma Gandhi’s socio-economic philosophy of sharing wealth for people’s welfare.

What Modi, perhaps, tried to convey was that he would like to be the trustee and “not master of people” and that experts can be hired to do the specialised job – criticising economists like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who have failed to steer nation out of fiscal crisis. In January, Chidambaram had ridiculed Modi, saying that the Gujarat chief minister’s economic knowledge can be written at the back of a postage stamp.

Breaking his silence at “India Economic Convention 2014”, Modi told the gathering, “My knowledge is so small that you do not even need a postal stamp to write it. It is encapsulated in just one word - “trustee,” like Gandhiji talked of trusteeship. You are the trustee of the country’s resources, not its owner. For me, this much knowledge is enough.”

The BJP leader’s programme included three gatherings, outlining his economic vision ahead of the Lok Sabha elections. He first spoke to traders, followed by a speech where he gave his piece of mind to chartered accountants and finished his tour by interacting with international audience.

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