New Delhi: Union Minister Anand Sharma on Friday termed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as a "national embarrassment".
"Modi may be an asset to the BJP but he is a national embarrassment. I can say this without any hesitation. He is boastful and makes tall claims about the development model of Gujarat," he told reporters here.
Sharma said that as per social indices, Gujarat has the highest school dropout rate, high malnutrition deaths compared to other states and low availability of safe drinking water.
Citing figures, he said that Modi has also made false claims with regard to the investments which Gujarat has received in the recent years.
"When it (foreign direct investment) comes to states, Gujarat definitely is not at number one position. Contrary to that, it is Maharashtra which has attracted USD 6 billion in 13 years (April 2000 - April 2013)...Gujarat is less than USD 9 billion and it is a matter of fact and record. Therefore, the claims as such are false," he added.
Sharma said during the NDA regime till 2004, the country attracted less than USD 30 billion FDI as compared to USD 273 billion during the UPA regime.
Reacting to Modi`s comments yesterday on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said that the Gujarat Chief Minister should have refrained from what he had said as the position of Prime Minister is that of an institution.
"The people of this country do not expect political leaders to use such language and insult institutions. Prime Minister position is an institution and on the Independence Day to say such things is actually not doing anything positive to the prestige of the institution.
"What has been said by the Gujarat CM is in very bad taste. He has dragged the political discourse to such a low depth that it is difficult to respond to him in his language. It is not part of our culture. Humility and dignity have not touched Modi, otherwise he would have refrained from saying what he has said and this exposes him more than endearing him to the people," Sharma said.
He said that Modi should be judged in the light of the tall claims he has made about his achievements.
"So the person who is boastful and brags about achievements which are not there has to be judged in that light.
"He is not an individual who has shown any compassion any humility, any comprehension of economic issues, international issues or geo-strategic issues. It’s not for us to say good luck to the party that thinks that he is valuable to them," he added.