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Join national politics: Chetan Bhagat to Modi

News18

Updated: April 18, 2011, 1:40 PM IST
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Join national politics: Chetan Bhagat to Modi
The author made the request while speaking at a seminar organised by the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries.

Ahmedabad: Saying that there was a dearth of good leaders in the country, best-selling writer Chetan Bhagat on Sunday called on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to play a bigger role in national politics.

Bhagat was speaking at a seminar organised by Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industries (GCCI), attended by the Chief Minister and Dileep Modi, President of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), among others.

Bhagat, the author of novels such as 'Five Point Someone' and '2 States', said the Chief Minister was the best orator and he was feeling nervous speaking in Modi's presence.

"When I came to Ahmedabad, I felt Gujaratis possess many qualities but they don't market it well. They remain quiet. But it should be spread," Bhagat said.

"But CM sir, you are doing well here, this is only one state and 27 are still left. We wish there could be many good leaders, but we don't have....IPL is IPL, and country's team is country's team. You think over it, rest of the things you will understand anyway," Bhagat said.

The ASSOCHAM President described Modi as a father figure and an icon. "Modiji is a true icon that people look forward to follow. He is a true icon for the India's youth," he said.

Both Dileep Modi and Bhagat were conferred with the first GCCI Youth Icon Awards.

Responding to the praise, the Gujarat Chief Minister said in a lighter vein that he did not know what would happen to Bhagat and Dileep Modi (now that they had praised him).

Expressing displeasure over the criticism of those who praise him or the state, Narendra Modi said, "This is a matter of concern... In which direction the country is going is unclear. Why can't difference of opinion be honoured?"

The problem is not only faced by Anna Hazare (for praising Modi).

Some are waiting for opportunity (to criticise Gujarat) while some have announced that if you entered into an MoU with the Gujarat government, you shall face the music in the form of raids by Income Tax department," he said, adding that there must be a limit to "shamelessness".

IT Department recently sought details of high-investment MoUs that Gujarat government had signed during Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

"Mahatma Gandhi fought against untouchability all his life. What kind of new untouchability is this? And that too by those who are followers of Gandhi," Modi said, adding that public life had been "polluted" because of this.

Veteran Gandhians and activists had written to Hazare (after he recently praised Gujarat) saying that claims of rural development made by Modi were false.

Danseuse Mallika Sarabhai had sent an e-mail to Hazare, expressing her shock at the former's endorsement of Modi's rural development.

First Published: April 18, 2011, 1:40 PM IST
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