Attacking Narendra Modi, Union Minister Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday said it was "paradoxical" that he was talking about introducing bullet trains and "evoking vision" of India even when he had opposed BT Brinjal.
Ramesh, former Environment Minister, said he had found Modi's opposition surprising as Gujarat had witnessed a success story on BT Cotton front. "What I find absolutely amazing in this debate is that the man (Modi) who wants to get bullet trains...evoking visions of new India and a man whose state is a success story in Bt cotton was against Bt Brinjal. I found it absolutely paradoxical," the Rural Development Minister said in New Delhi.
He was referring to the vision of BJP's Prime Ministerial candidate unveiled on Sunday which included introduction of bullet trains across the country and taking a number of other steps to push development. Ramesh recalled that when he wrote to all the Chief Ministers in the capacity of Environment Minister seeking their views on BT Brinjal, "I thought there would be two or three chief ministers who would support Bt Brinjal."
He said, "The chief minister of West Bengal did not surprise me...chief minister of Kerela did not surprise me at all..not only did he (Kerala CM) want a ban on Bt Brinjal but wanted a 50 year ban on GM crops. So many chief ministers did not surprise me but what surprised me is that of Gujarat CM taking the position that he took...after the extraordinary success of Bt cotton in Gujarat. So I could never relate this." Ramesh later said he thought it was not Modi but BJP which was behind the decision of opposing BT Brinjal.
"My explanation is that his (Modi's) party took the decision. The BJP took the position because it was alien to our culture and ethos...may be it was not known in Rig Veda.. who knows," he said while speaking at a lecture on "State, science and national specificity: Cotton to Brinjal in India by Professor Ronald Herring of Cornel University, US.