New Delhi: The usually measured Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has trigged a controversy by blaming vegetarianism and figure conscious Gujarati girls for high rate of malnutrition in the state.
In an interview to the Wall Street Journal, Narendra Modi said, "Gujarat is by and large a vegetarian state. And secondly, Gujarat is also a middle-class state. The middle class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious—that is a challenge. If a mother tells her daughter to have milk, they`ll have a fight—she`ll tell her mother, `I won`t drink milk. I`ll get fat."
However, Modi accepted that drastic change is needed to tackle the problem of malnutrition. “Gujarat is going to come up as a model in this also,” he said.
Various statistics have pointed out that nutrition levels in Gujarat, particularly in its tribal, rural and female population is very high.
The BJP leader also used the opportunity to highlight his administration success in economic growth and ensuring adequate power supply.
Criticising the Centre for the power blackout across the country last month, the Chief Minister said the central government should learn from Gujarat government and do the needed changes in the power sector.
He pitched in for liberalisation process that began in the 1990s saying that “The tragedy is that there`s no liberalisation going on."
"Government has no business to be in business," Modi told Wall Street Journal.