Gandhinagar: In what could be construed as a loaded statement, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that the people of the country want him to repay India’s debt.
“Everyone is saying that I have repaid the debt of Gujarat. Now people are asking me to repay the debt owed to India,” Modi said.
"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," he added.
"Everybody has to repay this debt...I hope Mother India gives her blessings and nobody goes away without paying this debt," he reiterated, 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 also accepted the fact that though there may be many who may like him, there are others who may not ‘like me’.
Modi was speaking at a book release function. The politically loaded remarks came while he was responding to a statement by RP 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.
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 further 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 added.
"Today there is a positive competition of development among different states in the country, " he said.
The support for Narendra Modi has been growing amongst BJP’s cadres with many wanting the party to name him the prime ministerial candidate in 2014 General Elections. Modi was inducted in the BJP parliamentary board recently by party president Rajnath Singh. Rajnath had said then that the move was because of the fact that Modi had won three elections in a row and was a popular leader.
With PTI inputs