‘Forget Gulf, Gujarat will produce oil’

via TOI published on January 8, 2007

NEW DELHI: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas’ favourite pin-up boy was back on Monday. On day two of the January jamboree, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was at his aggressive best as he marketed Gujarat as one of the country’s fastest growing states and urged overseas Indians to come and spend quality time there.



“Come and see Gujarat. You don’t have to invest. Just come, experience and feel Gujarat. Investment is secondary and voluntary. If you want to pool in resources, do go ahead. But first, come and see Gujarat,” Modi said, while reaching out to a gathering of almost 100 Gujaratis who had come from different parts of the world to attend the three-day event.



Armed with a slick multi-media presentation that showcased the Gujarat growth story, the Chief Minister seemed to have done his homework well. Boasting of a growth rate of 10.2%, which was higher than the growth rate projected by the Planning Commission for the country itself, Modi stated that every nook and corner of the state was a learning experience for the rest of the country.



Shedding historical baggage of a state that saw terrible famines every decade, the BJP leader said that the state had moved on. It had been able to court success as it had not followed an unplanned growth, he said.



“Gujarat’s much-talked-about growth has been courtesy a well-planned strategy, and it has not been limited to the cities only. In order to stop the influx to the cities, we have tried to provide basic city-like infrastructure, like electricity,” said Modi, proudly stating that the Jyoti Gram Yojna had lit up thousands of villages across the state.



Modi, who was on first-name basis with most of the assembled delegates (he remembered all the Desai, Babulals and Wadhwanis), said the state is now aiming for complete self-reliance. With two LNG terminals and two petroleum refineries, it was “sitting on a gold mine as far as petroleum is concerned”.



Khari ka tel nahin, vari ka tel (no oil from the Gulf, but oil from the well). Buses, cars, autos in Gujarat will run on oil produced by the state,” Modi said to thunderous applause from the community.


 


When asked about Gujarat’s poor show in tourism, the CM quipped that Gujaratis were famous for their hospitality. That’s why they didn’t need hotels. Then he went on to add, “Hotels, Motels and Patels,” Gujaratis rule tourism world over!


Urging investors to invest in the only state in the country which has a double digit growth rate, the CM said Mahtama Gandhi”s land had taken giant leaps in Information Technology and the state’s e-governance was making waves.



For the diverse assembled crowd that found its way from Liverpool, Uganda, USA, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the one person who made waves was clearly the man himself. 

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