The Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley Saturday released the book, ModiNomics, which seeks to highlight various initiatives of the Narendra Modi government in Gujarat. The book suggests his governance could serve as a model of “inclusive economics” and “inclusive governance” for the entire country.
Modi, who was initially slated to launch the book, did not attend the function. While the announcement of his absence was made by the book’s author Sameer Kochhar, he did not cite a reason for his absence.
“Looking forward to releasing the book ModiNomics in Delhi later today,” Modi tweeted earlier in the day. But hours before the function, he tweeted, “Unfortunately, would not be able to join book release programme of ModiNomics. My best wishes to the author & the programme.”
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Official sources claimed Modi had planned to attend the book launch and even taken briefings about his speech in advance, but he could not make it because of “scheduling issues”.
Launching the book, Jaitley termed the ’70s and ’80s as “wasted” years under the Congress regime and sought to suggest that former PM P V Narasimha Rao’s regime was the “turning point” for India’s economy.
“When objective history is written, the ’70s and ’80s would be probably rated as a wasted opportunity and a good turning point came when Rao was the PM,” Jaitley said.
He also sought to stress the importance of decisive leadership, citing Rao’s firmness to undertake reforms and Modi’s resolve to implement policies for public benefit.
The BJP leader did not hesitate to praise Rao and suggested that his pursuance of reforms is creditable, given Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s pursuance of reforms underlining BJP’s pro-reform outlook.
“For Vajpayee as a BJP prime minister to move ahead with reforms was relatively easier because it was a natural part of his party’s ideological thinking but for a man (Rao) who belonged to a party (Congress) which did believe in regulation to break the trend…,” Jaitley said.