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BJP president Amit Shah on Wednesday ridiculed “economic pundits” for their criticism of the Narendra Modi government’s jobless growth. “Economic pundits talk about jobless growth and try to tear out the few strands of hairs that I have on my head by asking where are the jobs… But he (Modi) successfully faced this challenge in Gujarat by implementing skill development programmes and self employment schemes,” Shah said at the launch of coffee table book on Modi titled The Making of a Legend.
He insisted that Modi, who had won “blessings of 1.25 crore people” with his successful stint as Gujarat CM, is working hard to solve issues that India is facing. Shah highlighted Modi’s schemes and initiatives for overall development. He cited Modi’s successes in meeting challenges of unemployment and water shortage in Gujarat, which had been a major hurdle for agricultural growth.
Shah underlined that India cannot tackle unemployment only by providing jobs. He added that creating an atmosphere in which self-employment is possible is also important. Shah said Modi, who became CM in 2001 without even winning a panchayat election, introduced a series of programmes to save Gujarat from the water crisis. He added that 7.28 crore youths have become self-employed under the Centre’s Mudra loan scheme over three years. Shah said Modi became the PM when youths were on the streets, women felt unsafe, borders were insecure and the investment atmosphere was at a nadir.
He highlighted Modi’s schemes for the poor. He added that the government’s biggest success was that it had provided opportunities to “the last man in the queue” to lift himself out of poverty. Shah said many PMs, who spoke about development and the poor, came and went but it was left for Modi to build toilets, open bank accounts and provide them basic facilities.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, who was present at the launch, praised Modi for remaining the same in his nature as a swayamsevak even after becoming Chief Minister and Prime Minister. “Modi still follows the same lifestyle as India’s PM, which he followed as an RSS worker and before becoming the Gujarat CM. It is not enough that one praises him for what he is today but must also realise what he was and how wedded he was to his ideals before he became PM.’’