Hard work more powerful than Harvard: PM Modi mocks Amartya Sen over demonetization criticism

 

Mocking economists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “hard work is more powerful than Harvard” as the latest GDP data shows demonetization did not affect growth rate, rather the figures improved.

“On the one hand are those (critics of note ban) who talk of what people at Harvard say and on the other hand is a poor man’s son who through his hard work is trying to improve the economy,” he said at an election meeting here.

“In fact, hard work is much more powerful than Harvard” he said without elaborating. His remark came against the backdrop of Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen terming demonetization as a “despotic action that has struck at the root of economy based on trust”.

The government had yesterday pegged GDP growth at a higher-than-expected 7.1 per cent for 2016-17 despite the cash blues, which was higher than China’s 6.8 per cent for Oct-Dec period of 2016, making India retain the tag of the world’s fastest growing economy.

Coming back to electoral politics in Uttar Pradesh, Modi said the electorate has already ensured BJP’s victory in the first five phases and now they would give surplus votes as “gift and bonus” in the remaining two rounds.

“I request the voters of the state to give the rest of the two phases as bonus to the party. This is similar to the chillies and coriander leaves, which the vegetable seller gives to the buyer as bonus,” he said drawing applause from the crowd.

A few days back the Prime Minister had spoken of the possibility of a hung assembly in the state, saying SP and BSP were waiting for such an opportunity for bargaining, prompting Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to comment that after dreaming of 300 plus seats, Modi was now talking about fractured verdict.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also referred to the website of the Uttar Pradesh government to slam Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on his ‘kaam bolta hai’ slogan. “The UP government website endorses my statement of ‘karnama bolta hai’ as the site says life in UP is short and uncertain…In this respect, UP resembles Saharan Africa,” he said.

Modi said he was sure that as soon as his speech was over, the officers entrusted with the task of maintaining the website would be immediately reprimanded.

He also took a dig at the Congress-SP alliance claiming, “One of them has the expertise in destroying India, while the other has the expertise in destroying Uttar Pradesh.” Modi said the state got a ‘bua’ (aunty), a ‘bhatija’ (nephew) and father of the bhatija in the last 15 years. “Has this benefitted the people of the state,” he questioned the crowd.

He also challenged the Congress and asked what it had done for the country since Independence.

Noting that nearly 30 lakh families in the state were homeless, Modi said, “There are 1.5 crore homeless people in UP. The Centre has written 13 letters to the UP government seeking details of the issue. But, all the state government could give was a list of 11,000 persons.” Stressing that poverty has no religion, he said, “The only endeavour of a poor person is to ensure a square meal for his children, education and a home for his family.” He also promised that by 2022, every family in the country would have a home.

Criticising the Akhilesh government, Modi said it could not spend the Centre’s funds for electricity.

Modi claimed that because of his efforts and personal intervention, the prices of medicines, stents and LED bulbs have been controlled and curtailed.

“We are in the process of establishing a gas pipeline from Gujarat to Gorakhpur which will generate electricity and also employment,” he said.

Modi said earlier urea did not reach farmers in time as it used to go to chemical factories.

“As a result, farmers were looted in a planned way. After this, we opted for neem coating of urea. The best thing about it is that it could be used only as fertilizer and not for any other purpose,” he said, adding that now farmers are getting urea in time.

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