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Gujarat can't be called a developed state: PM

April 13, 2009 15:59 IST

Attacking Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday said no one can claim that Gujarat could be called a developed state since around 1,200 were "butchered" in the riots there.

Dr Singh also said the Gujarat riots as well as the 1984 anti-Sikh riots were a "blot" on the secular image of the country.

"I don't think it (Gujarat) has the right to call itself a developed state where 1,200 were butchered (during the riots)," the prime minister told a press conference Mumbai.

His reaction came to a question on Modi's remarks that other states can emulate Gujarat's development policies.

Asked whether the shoe-throwing at Home Minister P Chidambaram prompted his party to withdraw tickets to anti-Sikh riots case accused Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, he said that there were protests against their candidature and taking this into consideration, Congress took a decision.

To a question why the nuclear deal was not a campaign issue for the Congress, the Prime Minister shot back, "Who said that (it is not an issue)? It is in the manifesto. What else should we do?  You tell us."

On Rahul as PM
The prime minister said that All India Congress Committee General Secretary Rahul Gandhi had "all the qualities to be a good Prime Minister".

Dr Singh said someday power must pass on to young people and that was the trend throughout the world.

"Rahul has all the qualities to be a good Prime Minister," he told a media persons when asked for his comments about Priyanka Gandhi speaking about the possibility of her brother becoming the prime minister "one day".

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