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I don't want to see Narendra Modi as PM, says Amartya Sen
Tuesday July 23, 2013 0:37 AM, IANS

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen says he does not approve of the Narendra Modi model of governance in Gujarat and he does not want to see Modi as the prime minister of the country.

In an interview with CNN-IBN, Sen says the physical infrastructure in Gujarat may be good but Modi has not done enough for the minorities.

"As an Indian citizen, I could say we Indians don't want a situation where the minorities feel insecure and could legitimately think that there was an organised violence against them in 2002. That's a terrible record," Sen told the news channel.

"As an Indian citizen I don't want an Indian prime minister who has that kind of record. I do not want Modi to be my prime minister," Sen said. The interview was telecast at 10.30 Monday night.

Modi has been named the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 2014 poll campaign chief and is widely regarded as the party's prime ministerial candidate.

Sen criticized Gujarat's record on social indices like education and health.

"It makes sense to have focus on physical aspects. He (Modi) certainly has certainly achieved quite a bit on that... the administration has been good but the social administration of delivering education, healthcare and gender equity has been bad. That's some of the worst records within the Indian states," he maintained.

The Nobel laureate has praise for the state of Bihar and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's governance methods.

"Nitish Kumar's focus on education and healthcare is definitely admired and efficient. What he is doing, he is trying to learn more from Japan, (South) Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. He is trying to have an educated, healthy labour force. The basis for it - high capital growth rate. That has worked again and again across the world. Yes, I do think his record at this moment is very good."

On comparisons between Modi and Nitish Kumar, the economist says it would not be fair to compare as Nitish Kumar is dealing with the poorest state in India, while Modi is dealing with a relatively richer state.

Sen says Modi could have done better. "Modi could have been more secular, made the minority community to feel more secure, the majority community could have not felt that they are being tolerant to minority community."

"And also he could have taken note of the fact that Gujarat's record in education and healthcare is very bad. He needs to concentrate on that as much as he is concentrating on physical infrastructure. So it's the question of learning," according to a transcript of the interview by CNN-IBN.

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