Gandhinagar: Virtually acknowledging his prime ministerial ambition, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said it is the duty of every child to repay the debt he owes to "Mother India".
"Not only Modi, every child and citizen owes a debt to Mother India...it is his duty to repay the debt whenever an opportunity arises. A doctor repays his debt to Mother India when he saves lives....A teacher does so by teaching. "Everybody has to repay this debt...I hope Mother India gives her blessings and nobody goes away without paying this debt," Modi said, in clearest indication yet that he is ready for a major role in the national political arena in the 2014 general elections, as being demanded by many in the BJP. Modi, who was recently included in the BJP parliamentary board, the top decision-making body in the party, which many see as a prelude to his being formally nominated its prime ministerial candidate, was speaking at a book release function.
The politically loaded remarks came while he was responding to a statement by R P Gupta, an author, that "Modiji ne Gujarat ka karz chuka diya hai, Abhi Bharat Maa ka karz chukana hai".(Modi has repaid the debt of Gujarat and now is the time for him repay the debt of the country)." Modi, who was addressing a small gathering of the members of Odisha Chamber of Commerce and Gujarat Chamber of Commerce where he released the book 'Turn Around India-Through Inclusive Governance & Team Spirit' edited by Gupta, chose not to make any comment on Rahul Gandhi's speech at a CII function in Delhi earlier in the day where the Congress vice-president spoke about inclusive development.
The Gandhi scion appeared to be referring to Modi when he talked about alienation of minorities hurting the country's growth. "When you play the politics of alienating communities, you stop the movement of people and ideas. When that happens we all suffer. Businesses suffer and the seeds of disharmony are sown and the dreams of our people are severely disrupted," Gandhi told industry leaders in what could be seen as an attack on Modi, perceived by many as a polarising figure. Modi said it was Gujarat which had set the agenda of the national debate on development politics. "Today in our country there is a debate on economic issues, a new competition of development has begun and Gujarat is proud to set the agenda in the country for a national debate on development politics," he said. "Till now talks and discussions on subjects of economics were limited only to a few experts and sectors. But now in every university, media and industry forums there is a debate on economic issues. This is a positive sign", he said. "Today there is a positive competition of development among different states in the country, " he added.