The Congress on Thursday slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his remark, in which he said that the child death ratio among STs in Kerala was worse than Somalia. Senior party leader Jairam Ramesh said that “if Kerala is Somalia, then Gujarat is probably worse than Afghanistan.” He claimed that Bangladesh fared better than Gujarat on several social indicators.
“I don’t know why and what provoked the PM to bring up Somalia and to compare it with Kerala. If Kerala is Somalia, then Gujarat is probably worse than Afghanistan. This is an outrageous comment to me. It is an insult to all Keralites, insult to all Indians because today the quality of life and social indicators of Kerala are better than most countries in the world, including the US,” Ramesh told reporters.
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He asked what was the criteria used by the Prime Minister to compare Somalia with Kerala. “If he is using such criteria, then I would say (that) in many areas, Bangladesh’s figures are better than that of Gujarat. If you want to equate, equate Bangladesh with Gujarat. And take any indicator. Be it sanitation, birth rate…Bangladesh is more developed than Gujarat,” he said.
“This Prime Minister is known to make outrageous statements. This PM makes statements that are blatantly false. He lies with a straight face. He lies because it is in his nature…,” he said.
“We know that in education, health, female literacy, female empowerment…in all matters of social development, Kerala is number one in the country.”